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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Huevos Rancheros

When I came across this recipe, which first appeared in Good Housekeeping, I tagged it as a potential family meal. I've had some great huevos rancheros (ranch eggs) and thought this version looked easy and healthy.

Huevos Rancheros

4 (6-inch) corn tortillas
nonstick cooking spray
1 jar (16-oz) mild fat-free salsa
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn kernels
3 green onions, sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
4 large eggs
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced into thin wedges

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 15 1/2- by 10 1/2-inch jelly roll pan, invert four 6-ounce custard cups. With kitchen shears, make four evenly spaced 1-inch cuts, from edge toward center, around each tortilla. Lightly spray both sides of tortillas with cooking spray and drape each over a custard cup. Bake tortilla cups 8 minutes or until golden and crisp.

2. Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet, combine salsa, beans, corn, green onions, and ground cumin; heat to boiling over medium heat. Cover and cook 3 minutes to blend flavors.

3. With large spoon, make 4 indentations for the eggs in salsa mixture, spacing them evenly around skillet. One at a time, break eggs into a cup, then slip the egg into an indentation in salsa mixture. Cover and simmer 8 to 10 minutes or until eggs are set or cooked to desired doneness.

4. To serve, invert each tortilla cup onto a plate. Spoon an egg with some salsa mixture into each tortilla cup. Spoon any remaining salsa mixture around and on eggs in cups. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve with avocado slices.

The Verdict: Good, easy, but not the recipe I was hoping for.
My husband liked it and my son ate it as well. I ate it and liked it, too, but just felt that something was missing. If you Google "huevos rancheros" about a trillion recipes pop up. Many call for something a little more than just salsa, beans and corn--whether it be a homemade salsa simmered in chicken stock, covered in green chile sauce, or embellished with smoky chiles in adobo. This lacked pop.

I did like that it was open this, dump that, toss in eggs and walk away. It's always smart to have some easy recipes in your arsenal.

Two thoughts on the recipe: First, when it asks to make indentations with your spoon, don't be too frustrated that you can't. Unless your salsa was super-chunky, you've got a lot of wet in your skillet. You are basically pushing the solid ingredients aside under a layer of tomato sauce. That's perfect. You're just trying to make sure the eggs don't melt into one four-yolked monster. Secondly, corn tortillas are a lot less pliable than a flour-based tortilla. The cuts and the cooking spray will help to "drape" the tortillas over the custard cups, but don't get it in your head that you're going to make corn cups. They will flop enough to hold your salsa and eggs; leave it at that.

So I'm not sure. I think I'll continue to find a huevos rancheros recipe that really wows me over.

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