Huevos Rancheros–or Brunch, Part 1!

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Brunch is one of those meals that inspire many of us to wax nostalgic. In fact, it’s one of those meals that even those who didn’t necessarily “shine” in the kitchen, could prepare well. This was definitely the case in my family.

Though my mother was a fabulous cook, my grandmother was absolutely not. My grandfather would coin the classic, trite comment  about her kitchen prowess (or lack thereof!):  “Do you know what your grandma makes well? Reservations!” (Actually, it’s amazing/fascinating that my mom turned out to be such an amazingly inspired and creative home chef!)

But Grandma could make a mean French toast, and I remember many a Sunday, sitting in her and my grandpa’s Brighton Beach 6th floor apartment and looking at the ocean, while enjoying fresh cantaloupe (one of her favorites!) her wonderful, syrup-topped version of a classic brunch dish.

Brunch has also been a favorite in our home, too! My mom used to get up at dawn and make blueberry pancakes (blueberries from her garden!) for us kids–and then grandkids. My husband, Seth, is also a great brunch cook.

So, mis queridos amigos, you can see that brunch has played an important role as a meal in our lives! Today’s post brings in the Latin twist (hah!) and I’m starting with one of my more recent favorites: Huevos Rancheros.

Though there are many, many versions of this Mexican-born dish, Huevos Rancheros (Ranchers’ Eggs!), this one is my personal favorite. Here I’ve incorporated a couple of non-Mexican elements: Colombian chorizo, Caribbean-Sofrito (click on the link!) and Spanish cheese. Of course, my friends, as with most  of my recipes, you can vary it according to your taste! ¡Buen provecho! Enjoy!

Huevos rancheros2

 

 

Latin Twist: Huevos Rancheros–or Brunch, Part 1!

Yield: 4 servings

Huevos Rancheros recipes vary greatly--and honestly I don't think that I've made 'em the same way twice! Still, the elements I'm listing here are my favorites; I'm sure you'll find yours, too!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small green bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh oregano, crumbled
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup sofrito (http://food.lohudblogs.com/2013/03/08/latin-twist-sofrito-latin-style-condiment-and-more/)
  • 1 cup homemade black beans (with liquid)
  • 3 Colombian Chorizo
  • 3 cups excellent-quality tortilla chips
  • 8 large eggs
  • 3/4 cups thinly-sliced Manchego or Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil.
  3. Add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic and oregano.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring, until lightly browned, 5 minutes.
  5. Add the sofrito, black beans, and chorizo, and simmer for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.
  6. Spoon the sauce into 4 individual, shallow baking dishes and arrange the tortilla chips around the sides.
  7. Crack 2 eggs into each dish and sprinkle with the cheese (you can also add the cheese at the end). Set the dishes on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the egg whites are set and the yolks are still runny.
  8. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve right away.
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About Author

Maybe it was the dinner parties my mom always threw—or the hours I spent prepping and cooking alongside her (and then on my own!). Or maybe it was array of fabulous dishes that my family sampled in New York City’s richly diverse restaurants, but I’ve loved creating, savoring, and sharing food for as long as I can remember. Living in Spain, and later in Peru, also greatly influenced my life. These years abroad taught me Spanish—and about living in different countries--but also introduced me to teaching English as a second language, which I’ve done—mostly in the US-- for the past 20-plus (yikes!) years. I’ve authored two cocktail/tapas books, Mambo Mixers and Calypso Coolers, coauthored more than 15 others (mostly food related!), and raised two children. Now I'm chef and owner of my own restaurant, Mambo 64 in Tuckahoe, New York. My message is the same, whether I'm teaching, writing, running the restaurant or being a regular guest on the Spanish-language network Telemundo (on the morning show, Buenos Días Nueva York!). My belief in food—and the power of food—is far reaching, and is married with another one: the power of stories. I’m sure that if we could all sit down and have meals together, sharing both tastes and tales, we’d have peace on earth. Enjoy!

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