Saturday, May 20, 2006

What I learned in Mexico

Last November, I took a short vacation to San Miguel de Allende to celebrate my mother's 70th birthday. We stayed in a wonderful house, with a full staff. Tomasa, the housekeeper prepared simple meals (and cocktails) for us. My favorite was her huevos rancheros, which I asked for at breakfast nearly every day. Crispy tortilla, cool, spicy salsa, and warm, rich egg, all in one delicious bite. Plus, they are quick and inexpensive to make, especially with store-bought salsa. Here is my take on Tomasa's dish, which has become a favorite quick dinner at my house.

Huevos Rancheros

8 corn tortillas
1 container fresh tomato salsa (the kind kept in the refrigerated section of the grocery)
8 eggs
ranchero cheese, shredded
1 lime
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Brush the tortillas with vegetable oil and place them on a baking sheet. Toast the tortillas in the oven, turning them every 5 minutes or so, until they begin to crisp. Set aside. Brown the chorizo in a frying pan. Drain the fat and set aside. In another pan, poach the eggs. While they are poaching, set two tortillas on each of four plates. Top each tortilla with a tablespoon of salsa. Top the salsa with the eggs. Sprinkle with cooked chorizo, a little cheese, and some chopped cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and Mexican rice.


Mar said...

I want to try that sometime!

White Buffalo Woman Goes Singing said...

Learned from a lady who barely spoke English, and loved to make healthy food for hard-working people:

Sliced cucumber in bowl, sprinkled with juice of lime.

Excellent side dish with all things, and for breakfast with tortillas, huevos, refried beans, homemade salsa, for breakfast or dinner.

Homemade salsa: All the fresh food you've got in the house/garden goes in. This is my favorite and most oft made Mexican dish. I dice tomatoes, add garlic (she would laugh!), jalapeno, onion, cucumber, cilantro, and anything fresh I've got to add, even apples! She's made it with red peppers when we got a huge bag of them for an inexpensive price, threw in a few tomatoes, and I was completely unaware I was eating red peppers (thought it was all tomato).

She told me there are five usuals in all Mexican cooking: tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, beans, tortillas. She says if you have any one of those five things, it's a Mexican meal! Isn't that cute?