The quintessential Mexican desayuno recipe must be Huevos Rancheros as this dish can be found everywhere in Mexico from home kitchens, to street vendors, to loncherias (coffee shops), to hotel dining rooms, but only during breakfast time. It seldom makes a repeat performance later in the day.
Huevos Rancheros can be made with a number of variations but always from a base of three common ingredients: corn tortillas, a spicier roasted salsa roja, better known as Salsa Ranchera, and sunny side up eggs. Every cook in Mexico tries to recreate this dish with a sense “specialness” that sets his or her style of preparation apart from all others, usually in the form of accompaniments. Refried or whole beans, arroz mexicano, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheeses, chilaquiles, pico de gallo, and the list grows depending on the Chef and the cuisine in their native state.
The Spanish had an enormous influence on Mexican kitchens having brought with them foods that nurtured and enriched all areas of the existing Mexican diet. Items such as chicken, beef, pork, cheeses, grains and spices played an important role in the development of the Mexican cuisines we enjoy today. Eggs were used in many forms from breakfast to desserts. This fusion is certainly evident in our classic desayuno dish where eggs are featured with locally made corn tortillas, tomato based sauces, and garnished with cheeses, beans and sausage in the form of chorizo, incorporating spices and techniques unavailable in Mexico up until that point.
The Spanish culinary influence was initially practiced in the Catholic convents and known as cocina conventual but eventually it emerged as an important culinary advancement for Mexico and slowly spread throughout the country. Mole poblano and tingas from Puebla, carnitas from Michoacan are but a few examples of the conventual blending of food and cultures.
Huevos Rancheros were and still are a primary desayuno meal served to workers on estates and ranches where first meals are substantial and filling to carry workers through the day. In the farm kitchens Huevos Rancheros are served in the traditional form and always with frioles de olla (pot beans), corn tortillas, crumbled cheeses, ranch-style spicy chorizo, roasted Salsa Ranchera and mugs of steaming coffee or Mexican hot chocolate. Any entree cooked with a chile, onion and tomato combination qualifies to be called “ranch-style” or Ranchero.
We have experienced the traditional Mexican-American version of Huevos Rancheros that are usually served on a large oval platter with refried beans, cold over cooked eggs and a red sauce of dubious distinction. But, that really doesn’t allow us the “specialness” associated with a dish of this stature. There will always be the basic version for a fast weekday breakfast but there is also a version relegated to “lazy weekend” breakfasts that could be served for breakfast or dinner in a more elegant form with all of the flavors necessary to satisfy our Mexican cravings.
The basic components are still in place but the accompaniments are incorporated into the dish to allow us a “Huevos Hacienda” approach featuring poached or sunny side up Safest Choice eggs on top of layers of flavor and texture.
The texture and roasted notes within the Ranchero Sauce are key elements when preparing Huevos Rancheros. In this recipe we used three corn tortillas and place specific flavors on each layer. The first layer is cheese, the second layer black beans, and the third layer Safest Choice eggs sunny side up, Ranchero Sauce, chorizo, and slices of avocado with a garnish of queso fresco and cilantro.
The result is a very “craveable” version of Huevos Rancheros. Our classic desayuno dish worthy of the name “Huevos Hacienda” and reserved for a special weekend breakfast or breakfast for dinner.
¡ Bueno provecho !