Huevos Rancheros

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When I wrote the recipe for Fruit Salsa in the last edition (available at TheTahoeWeekly.com), I mentioned using it for lunch and dinner items, as well as a snack dip. Another great use for salsa is with breakfast. I tend to lean more toward Fruit Salsas’ cousin, tomato salsa, but Fruit Salsa also is surprisingly good with huevos rancheros or breakfast burritos.

Try Chef Smitty’s Fruit Salsa. Click on Chef’s Recipe under the Local Flavor menu.

As a matter of fact, you can marry a little Fruit Salsa with a traditional tomato salsa, and it is absolutely fantastic. Don’t worry, the two salsas may be cousins, but they are like second cousins, twice removed, so they are allowed to be married and do go great together.

The one thing I like to do is to add more jalapeños for more heat. I don’t exactly know why, but for some reason, I like a little more heat in my salsas for breakfast than I do for dinner, especially if I am using a fruit salsa.

Huevos rancheros is a breakfast you want to eat on a day you know you will need a lot of energy. It contains a little of just about everything including protein and carbohydrates — and unlike a big stack of pancakes that can sit like a brick in your stomach for a while, it is much easier to move after this breakfast. Start with a couple of corn tortillas and then top them with beans, eggs — however you like them cooked — a jalapeño red sauce, cheese, salsa, sour cream and guacamole, if you want.

A traditional huevos recipe uses refried beans, which I like, but I prefer to spice up some black beans and use them instead. You can use flour tortillas if you like. Whichever tortillas you use, the next time you are looking for a nice, hearty breakfast that is going to last you for miles on the trail, fix yourself some huevos rancheros and enjoy.

Huevos Rancheros
Serves 4

8 corn tortillas
2 T oil
12 oz. black beans, fresh or canned
4 oz. vegetable or chicken stock
1 celery stick, finely diced
1 small carrot, finely diced
1 t cumin
1 t chili powder
Salt & pepper to taste
8 eggs
A few dashes of your favorite hot sauce
8 oz. jalapeño red sauce (See recipe below)
4-6 oz. jack or cheddar cheese, shredded
4 T salsa
4 T sour cream
4 T guacamole

Jalapeño Red Sauce

2 to 3 jalapeños
6 oz. tomato sauce
1 roasted red pepper, peeled, seeded & cut in strips
1 t rice vinegar
1 dash chili paste to taste
Salt & pepper to taste
1 T butter

Make the red sauce. Slice the jalapeños into circles and sauté them on medium high in the butter. Soften the peppers; be careful not to have the heat too high or they will burn. Remember, the more seeds you leave in the hotter it will be.

Add the vinegar and let that reduce until it is almost gone; add the tomato sauce. Add the roasted red pepper and season with salt and pepper. Add a little chili paste, if desired, for both a little heat and flavor.

Heat up the beans and all the ingredients in the stock. If you are using canned beans, rinse them first. Heat until everything is tender.

Once the sauce and beans are ready, heat the tortillas in a pan with the oil and place two in a pan. Cover with some beans. Cook the eggs — for huevos, they are usually fried, but you also can scramble them if you want.

When you put the eggs into the pan, put a few drops of hot sauce on them so the sauce will cook into the eggs, taking care not to use too much. You can always add more heat later.

Place the eggs on the beans and pour some of the red sauce over them. Top with cheese and place in the oven to melt the cheese. Slide this onto a plate and top with salsa, sour cream and guacamole.