To begin with, I’m shocked that I haven’t told you everything about my huevos rancheros. It’s about time I introduced you to one of my all-time favorite meals, but before, let me tell you a little about the dish’s personal background.
I put off trying huevos rancheros for a very long time (24 years, to be exact). When my family went out to eat at Mexican restaurants when I was a kid, my dad always ordered huevos rancheros. He would receive a massive dish filled with refried beans and other things I didn’t care to name. I would turn my focus back to my plate and smother yet another chicken finger in ketchup after being repulsed by the dripping fried egg. (Yes, I was the young child who requested chicken fingers at every dining establishment. more ketchup
That child had zero interest in eggs, and the adult child in me has never developed a taste for fried eggs. I can eat scrambled eggs as long as they are done with a little milk and have loads of vegetables on top. So when Kathleen quickly waxed poetic about huevos rancheros last year, I decided to try the dish—but with a scrambled egg instead of a fried egg. Although I scrambled the egg before spreading it over the tortilla, I followed Smitten Kitchen’s instructions.
Whether scrambled or fried, huevos rancheros just might be the perfect meal—light, filling, healthy and super fresh. It’s the breakfast that I treat myself to on weekdays and weekends. It’s lunch, when I can’t think of anything I’d rather eat. It’s the meal that I crave after a stressful day at work. If I’m having a lousy day, huevos rancheros make it all better.
My version is a far cry from the traditional Mexican dish, and quite a bit different from the average beige Tex Mex variety. No matter. If you’re a traditionalist and can’t imagine going without the fried egg, think of it as a scrambled egg-topped tostada, or an omelet with a corn tortilla base. Sounds good, right?
- 1 corn tortilla
- 1 egg, scrambled
- Dash of milk
- ¼ cup shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, cheddar and mozzarella are all good)
- Toppings of your choice (see suggestions below)
- In a small bowl, scramble your egg with a dash of milk.
- Heat a small pan (I use an 8-inch cast iron skillet) over medium heat. Butter the skillet or spray it with cooking spray.
- Place the tortilla in the pan. Let it warm up on one side, and then flip it. Repeat if you want an extra crispy tortilla.
- Once both sides are hot, sprinkle cheese onto the tortilla. I like to leave the center alone and cover the perimeter with cheese.
- Once the cheese has melted, slowly pour the egg mixture onto the center of the tortilla. It will overflow onto the pan, which is fine. At this point, you’re going to treat it sort of like an omelet, so use a wooden spoon to push the eggs around the perimeter of the pan. Scoot the set pieces to the center of the tortilla.
- Once you’ve redistributed all of the eggs to the tortilla, use a big spatula to flip it over and cook for about twenty seconds. Flip it back onto your plate and top it with whatever your heart desires!