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Huevos Rancheros

Mexican

Quests are an impossible journey in pursuit of something that may be unobtainable. They are good to rule the spirit from time to time. In college, friends and I drove the "Trans-Texas Marathon," a road trip across the entire Southwest which is mostly Texas. My quest was to eat only Huevos Rancheros to find the best. I found there were many ways to make this dish - some sauces are green, some harshly spicy, others are almost Italian. Sometimes what you search for is in your own back yard; mine was in San Antonio, Texas and this the recipe of a young Mexican bride. This recipe has a few further refinements dedicated to the honor and art of Huevos Rancheros.
Ingredients
8 eggs
4 corn or flour tortillas
4 slices thick-cut bacon, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons oil (vegetable or pork fat)
2 teaspoons butter

sauce
2 jalapeños thinly sliced (cayenne powder as substitute)
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaf
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups tomato cut in halves
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro stems
1 corn cob cut it rounds or fresh kernels (optional)
2 teaspoons finely slivered lemon skin - yellow part only
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice

garnish
4 tablespoons of cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
tortillas on the side
Steps
1 In skillet over medium heat, fry bacon until it browns - do not let get crispy.

2 Lower heat. Add jalapeño and onions. Cook until onions are tender.

3 Add cumin, coriander, oregano, and black pepper. Stir for 1 minute.

4 On high heat, add tomato, cilantro stems, and lemon zest. Optionally add corn. Add water. Cover with lid. Cook and stir 6 minutes. Remove lid.

5 Reduce heat to simmer. Taste for seasoning - if it is not spicy enough, add more jalapeño or a pinch of cayenne pepper. Cook for 12 minutes, occasionally stirring and pressing down tomatoes until sauce is smooth. Remove skins.

6 Meanwhile, in non-stick skillet, heat oil and fry tortillas for 1 minute on each side. Put two tortillas on each plate and keep warm.

7 In same non-stick pan, melt butter and cook eggs sunny side up or over-easy. Yolks are best runny in this dish.

8 Place an egg on each tortilla.

9 Stir lemon juice into sauce, then spoon sauce over eggs. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Assertive with warmed tortillas, see note.


Yield
servings  use metric
original recipe yield: 4 Servings
Notes NOTE This sauce can be served immediately, or let to settle for hours covered on a low heat, as it is meant to be "ranch style eggs", in other words to be served when the ranch hands show up. I like it both ways - the quick style of cooking here is bright, the long style of cooking has a deeper flavor.
The dish also goes well with a few steamed tortillas per person. Steam a stack in a wet tortilla warmer or put between two wet plates. Set crockery covered tortillas in a 250°F oven while the sauce finishes.

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