Wednesday, 17 September 2014

One for the weekend: Huevos Rancheros (Mexican Eggs)

This brunch of Mexican Eggs makes a spicy start to a lazy weekend, and also earns bonus points for blasting away the cobwebs and curing a hangover in an instant.

There are many variations of this recipe which is basically a Mexican version of baked eggs, which is one of my all-time favourite breakfasts. I spent a couple of weeks thinking about how I could experiment with spice and tomatoes to live up my usual recipe for Eggs En Croute.

Huevos Rancheros- Spanish for ranch eggs -pair perfectly with a refreshing homemade guacamole and a couple of cheesy quesadillas for mopping up the spicy sauce. This brunch recipe takes a little time so definitely try when you have a free weekend morning with nowhere to go (you can even make the spicy tomato sauce the night before if you like, just keep in the fridge and reheat).

Huevos Rancheros (Mexican Eggs) recipe

This recipe makes enough for one greedy person, but it is easy to double or quadruple the ingredients if need be.

Fry off half a finely chopped onion in a little olive oil, add a finely diced garlic clove, salt and pepper and then some chilli paste, or half a fresh red chilli. Keep stirring and once translucent add a tin of chopped tomatoes and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Taste and add half a tsp of sugar if too acidic.

While the tomatoes are simmering, whip up some guacamole by mashing together one ripe avocado with half the juice of one lime, and a couple of slices of fresh chilli. Add salt, pepper and some fresh coriander to taste. And you're done - just muster up the strength not to eat it there and then stood in the kitchen - it really is deliciously vibrant and so so so much tastier than the shop bought gloop you buy chilled in a plastic tub.

Vibrant Guacamole, the perfect partner to Mexican Eggs

Transfer the tomato sauce to a wide oven-proof dish, make two small wells and crack  in two eggs (tip- crack them one at a time into a ramekin first, this gives you more control over the egg and you are able to fish out any shell if need be.)

Place the oven-proof dish into a Bain-Marie and pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 150 degrees until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

While the eggs are in the oven, make up your cheesy quesadillas. You can play around with lots of flavours and include chilli and onion, but I like to keep mine plain because there's so much going on in the rest of the dish. Take one tortilla and cover half with grated cheese, fold in half and lightly oil the outside, fry in a griddle or frying pan until the outside lightly browns and cheese has melted. Cut into two or three slices.

By then your eggs should be ready, so take out of the oven and place on a heat proof tray or mat. Sprinkle any slices of leftover chilli, a grind of chilli salt and a few coriander leaves. Take to the table with the quesadillas and guacamole.

A breakfast feast 

Enjoy dipping the cheesy quesidillas in the dish of spicy tomato eggs and add a dollop of guacamole when your mouth needs to cool off.

¡Ay, caramba!