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Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros with Roasted Tomato Sauce
Roasted tomato sauce lends a deliciously smoky flavor to huevos rancheros. To save time, bottled salsa may be substituted.

Ingredients:

For the roasted tomato sauce:

  • 7 ripe plum tomatoes, cored
  • 2 or 3 serrano chilies, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 small white onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 4 large, thick corn tortillas, preferably stale
  • 1 1⁄2 cups bottled salsa (if not using roasted tomato sauce)
  • 1⁄4 cup canola oil, plus more as needed
  • 8 eggs
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup canned refried pinto beans, warmed
  • 2⁄3 cup Mexican crema (see Notes), sour cream or crème fraîche
  • 1⁄3 cup crumbled queso añejo or panela cheese (see Notes) or grated dry
      Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 small avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and
      cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes (optional)

Directions:

To make the tomato sauce, in a dry fry pan over high heat, roast the tomatoes, turning them as they char slightly, for about 5 minutes. In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, chilies, onion and garlic and process until blended but still chunky. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the tomato mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salt. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the sauce to a wide, shallow saucepan and keep warm.

Preheat an oven to 200°F.

If the tortillas are still fresh, spread them in a single layer on a work surface and let them dry out for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, if using bottled salsa, warm it in a wide, shallow saucepan.

In a large cast-iron or nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the 1/4 cup oil. One at a time, fry the tortillas, turning once, about 5 seconds per side. Using tongs, transfer them to paper towels to drain and keep warm in the oven.

Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the fry pan cool down, about 2 minutes. Break 4 of the eggs into the pan and fry them slowly until the whites are set and the yolks have begun to thicken but are not hard (cover the pan if you like firm yolks), about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the eggs to a roasting pan and keep warm in the oven. Add a little more oil to the pan, if needed, and fry the remaining 4 eggs.

Remove the tortillas from the oven. Using tongs, dip each tortilla quickly in the warmed tomato sauce and place on warmed individual plates. Spread 1/4 cup of the refried beans evenly on each tortilla and top each with 2 of the fried eggs. Spoon more of the tomato sauce generously over the edges of each tortilla and the whites of the eggs, leaving the yolks uncovered. Spoon a little crema over the sauce, then sprinkle with the cheese and cilantro. Scatter the avocado around the edges of the plates and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Notes: Crema is a thick, rich, slightly soured type of heavy cream. Queso añejo, or "aged cheese," is a mature, dry form of queso fresco, a soft, salty, tangy fresh cheese made from cow's milk. Panela, also a fresh cheese, is mild in flavor, with a smooth, firm, moist texture.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Breakfast, by Brigit L. Binns (Simon & Schuster, 2003).