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huevos rancheros

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
So I've been looking for a good huevos rancheros recipe out there on the net, but whenever a recipe seems promising (which means that there are many positive reviews), I'll look up the reviews and invariably there is one person that states that this is not a real huevos rancheros recipe.

So what are the distinctions? Is the lone naysayer a real ethnic purist? could there be various regional types? I guess I would be interested in finding a recipe that might trancend the tortilla, sauce, beans and egg idea I've grown up with.

Thanks
Bliss
post #2 of 22
Are you going to believe people you've never met and whose taste you don't know,* or are you going to trust your own taste? If a recipe looks promising to YOU, try it. If you like it, great. If not, don't make it again.

Like cassoulet, paella, spaghetti sauce, gefilte fish, and chocolate chip cookies, there are probably as many versions of huevos rancheros as there are people who make them. A complete ethnic "authenticity" is never achievable, imo. On the other hand, you can't make it with pita and lentils and call it huevos rancheros (although it might be a delicious dish that way!). So make the versions that appeal to you, and don't worry about that one person who grouses that they're not "real."


ChefTalk members not included :p We ALWAYS have good taste. :lips: :lol:
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

Yeah. But I want to discuss Huevos Rancheros ethnicity.

I could sense what the recipe might taste like and that it would be a good, albeit predictable experience.

It was just that I wanted to hear what others from this site thought about it, and that they might offer insight and ideas which could be interesting and expanding to my culinary knowledge.

At this point in time I still do not know what one could mean when they speak of the ethnicity of huevos rancheros. I have some vague notion, but a more experienced voice could bring some inspiration.

Bliss
post #4 of 22
Bliss,
What you may be experiencing could be as simple as "regionality"...
Like the difference between Sonoran and TexMex, or Baja.
I was in Garland Texas for a business trip, and thought I'd get some Mexican food. I swear it tasted like bad Italian food. My first introduction to TexMex.
No offense to those that like it, or live in that area, but it just tasted horrible, and I'll know more of what to expect (or not) next time.
Point being is that there are different regional tastes (and ingredients) depending on where the reviewer either came from, or first experienced (and thus expected a particular taste) any certain Mexican type food.
And again, some folks start adding things to their recipes that they are familiar with, whether or not it was in the "original" recipe or not...
But frequently, the contents of huevos rancheros (other than the eggs) depended on what was in the larder.
Potato
Chorizo
Cheese
Chiles
Tomato
Etc.
Or just plain eggs...

Like Suzanne says, go with your own taste.
(and maybe experiment for yourself...)
I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
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I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
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post #5 of 22

Huevos rancheros

Hello I have always made them just some flat fried corn tortillas topped with fried egg topped with sausa and greaded cheese, maybe beans on the side:)
post #6 of 22

Hand pressed corn tortillas...lightly grilled

Keep warm.

For salsa:
Puree in blender: 2 large fire roasted tomatoes, medium fresh serrano pepper that has been trimmed, seeded and de-veined, 1/4 small white onion and 1/2 tsp salt. (more to taste)

Heat saute pan to high add 2 tb peanut oil (yes, has to be peanut) and saute puree for about 3 minutes stirring often. It will spatter so be careful.

Remove from heat.

Place the two tortillas on a plate <duh>. Place 2 sunny eggs on top and top with salsa and crumbled cotija cheese.

Refried beans, fried plantains (yum), sour cream...

Heaven

April
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 

what is the diference between a salsa and a ranchero sauce?

it was one of the points that came up a couple of times.

Again, yes I think that experimenting is what cooking is anyway, but this was provocative to me. Specially since there are the Rick Bayles fans out there.

I'm starting to regret having started this thread since the discussion of food has been somewhat tampered by the discussion of my "position" and inablility to live up to what of cook others think I should be. :mad:

Bliss
post #8 of 22
Bliss,

I don't believe that anyone was questioning your abilities or skills, or implying that you aren't a "proper" cook, but rather provide examples or variations that we are familiar with.

I did a little loooking around at a couple dozen different recipes, and found it interesting to say the least.

Where my "expectaion" of huevos rancheros is prepared one way, I noticed some pretty divergent recipes out there...

I can see where you are wondering what the ethnicity of this dish may be.

Some use corn tortillas, others call for flour...

Some use beans, others use hash (why on earth, I have NO idea), while some leave the beans out entirely...

Some call for complicated sauce from scratch (and even these have varying ingredients), where others either make a simple sauce or just use salsa. Why they insist on making breakfast (in particular) any more difficult than necessary, I don't know. And to offer commentary as to what the difference is between ranchero sauce and salsa, I think that too is simply a matter of taste. Some of the sauces I saw recipes for looked a lot like a salsa mix, and others appeared much more bland. And then there's the matter of convenience...

Some of the dishes are "built" like a tostada (fried corn tortilla), and others are using a softer tortilla style (oven baked).

Some call for fried eggs, and others opt for scrambled instead.

Others add a little zest in the way of additional ingredients (as mentioned above), where there are a few recipes that just sound boring as h*ll.

And I swear, there are a couple out there that sound like somebody up in Duluth thought they were getting out on the cutting edge of culinary experimentation by simply substituting a tortilla for the more common toasted slice of Wonder Bread.

As mentioned previously, the variations are as endless as the concoctions that people deam up. After my little search, I've concluded that there has been a distinct "Americanization" of this food, with the ingredients and preparation based upon regional/personal preferrences.

Specifically, oven baking? Never happen in a Mexican kitchen.
Avacados? Unlikely except for special occasions.
Hash??? Jeezus save us from that.

From my experience I've noticed that the staples of Mexican food were/are pinto beans (boiled or refried), black beans, both corn and flour tortillas, beef, chicken, assorted vegetables/chilis/peppers, heavy on the tomatos and corn, and the ever present "hot sauces" (red/green enchilada, salsa, and others).

This could go on for pages (getting into the sociological influences and discussing the heritage of the recipes), but hopefully you've found an answer or two in here...
I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
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I might be suffering from CDO.
It is just like OCD, except the letters are in alphabetical order.
Just as they should be...
Reply
post #9 of 22
When I lived in Aldama, Guanajuato, Mexico my Grandma (Abuelita) made "Huevos Rancheros" (scrambled eggs) with salsa or pico de gallo* and whatever else was available. I had it so many different ways it wasn't funny. Sometimes it had bistek (sandwich steak) meat in it, sometimes Chorizo, sometimes beans and green sauce, sometimes it had ranchero cheese, sometime chihuahua cheese, sometimes no cheese, sometimes pintos, some times she threw chicken in there. All the while though it often looked different she always called it "Huevos Rancheros".

I believe the divergent presentations of huevos rancheros could be comparable to the permutations of pasta dishes. Both are very open to interpretation and/or availability of food stuffs and ingredients. It's also regional preferences and what was/is viable. In Spain they eat stuff like paella and fish and use saffron much more so than in Mexico because it is not really available in Mexico. Now take into consideration what some might call "Huevos Rancheros" in Argentina or Puerto Rico and how different those presentations might be and it boggles the mind... Where's Chef Rick Bayless when you need him. LOL

Don't be discouraged by some detractor who says something isn't authentic. Who is that person to say what is or isn't authentic or viable? They are most likely meaning to say it is not what THEY know Huevos Rancheros to be. I seem to remember someone telling me once the "ranchero" in "Huevos Rancheros" comes from the "ranchero" cheese. That may or may not be true but whether something is authentic doesn't affect the taste so I say c'est la vie.

For the sake of example here is what I do for huevos rancheros.

12 White or Brown Eggs
1/4 cup Milk
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 8oz can Black Beans rinsed (it's just quicker to use canned)
1 lb of Chorizo
1 Whole Red Pepper (diced)
1 Whole Green Pepper (diced)
1/4 Spanish Onion (diced)
1/8 lb of Queso Ranchero [Ranchero Cheese] (crumbled)

Break eggs and whisk in a large bowl till blended. Slowly add milk to desired thickness/coloring, don't go over about a 1/4 cup (my personal preference). Add salt, cumin and pepper and beat with whisk until blended.

Start Chorizo (or you can prepare ahead and let stand or cook it on one burner while you do the eggs both need fairly constant attention so it's your call). Remove Chorizo from skin and brown on medium heat in a skillet until cooked through when it is nearly or half-way done add in the red pepper, green pepper and onion. Mix together

In a non-stick pre-heated pan begin adding egg mixture slowly stirring with a wooden spoon or spatula. If you don't have a non-stick pan use something like Pam, olive oil or butter so it doesn't stick right away. Make sure you keep stirring frequently to keep the heat regulated or they will dry out. I recommend a medium to medium/high heat. Once you have stirred in all the egg add the black beans and mix in. Once eggs are nearly done add the chorizo and peppers and give a good stir. Heat till everything is hot and/or done and plate it up. On the plate sprinkle the crumbled cheese on top.

Serve with some corn tortillas on the side and maybe some spanish rice.

Garnish with a little salsa over the top and a dollop of Crema Mexicana (or Sour Cream). Then sprinkle some snipped cilantro leaves over the cream and that's all she wrote. It looks complex but really isn't.

Pico De Gallo* basically consists of onion, lime juice, tomato, cilantro and serrano chiles or jalapenos. I can post a recipe for this too if you like.
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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post #10 of 22
Another dish worth looking at in this style is Chilequiles. There are many versions. But you can do a breakfast version with salsa, tortilla scraps/leftovers, or even chips in a pinch, plenty of cheese and eggs. Sort of a breakfast nacho casserole, even though with eggs, I cook them separately and add to the dish at serving time.

Phil
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #11 of 22

Salsa translated means "sauce"

A Rancheros sauce is "Ranch sauce". Basically a broad range of whatever types of tomatoes and chilis you have to mix together.

My bent on it came from living in Guatamala for a year close to the Yucatan Peninsula. They have very basic food there. The more fat the more pricey. They save that sort of stuff for tourists.

It's actually a very personalized thing based on what other posters have mentioned about your own taste preferences.

April
post #12 of 22
Sorry to have upset you. I've deleted my input.
post #13 of 22
Phatch said:
"Another dish worth looking at in this style is Chilequiles."

This has my vote as the best breakfast ever invented.

Tony
post #14 of 22
April, you hit the nail on the head. Tomatoes, chiles and in the case of "huevos rancheros"... eggs.

I had a fascinating meal with some poor Mexicans living in the US once. They had no pots, no pans, no utensils. They bought some aluminum foil, a chicken, tortillas and some chiles de árbol. They built a fire, stuffed the chicken with the chiles, heads broken off and some of the seed spat out by squeezing the chiles, wrapped it in the foil and cooked it over the fire. When it was done, they unwrapped the chicken and peeled off bits to eat with the tortillas. Authentic Mexican food? I suppose it is all in the eye of the beholder. I was amazed at what they were able to do with so little.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 

thank you for all the info and consideration

Some people are great at throwing it all together and getting an interesting surprise. Me? if I diverge from what "the plan" is, I get food that invariably looks...well...grey and funny tasting. :(

I admire the Kamikaze chefs of the world, the maverick chefs who are really cooking and can turn the near bare cupboard into a cornucopia of nurishment.

I guess that huevos rancheros is exactly the perfect recipe for that chef.

I got some fantastic insight about huevos and some very good ideas. I think the naysayers are simply people who had a salient experience once and are still looking around for that perfect duplicate recipe. Little do they know what we now know: Even the Mexican abuelita couldn't decide what is "the classic".

Thanks again

p.s. is it typical to have déja-vu while writing a reply?
post #16 of 22
Oh Blisstone, grey and funny-tasting... sounds like what I produce when I try to invent my own or create from what's in the fridge. That's why I admired those Mexican men and their chicken so much. I would not have been able to do that myself.
post #17 of 22
LOL! Exactly even other people I know from Mexico have no clue what the "gold standard" for Huevos Rancheros is much less my Grandma.

It's interesting to note that those "Kamikaze Chefs" learn that crazy stuff out of necessity. In a pro kitchen you can't afford the sort of waste people normally accept as fine at home. To give you a real world example at Everest here in Chicago Chef Jean Joho doesn't like anything edible thrown out. Carrot ends, onion skins, parsley stems etc. all go in to make stock and then are strained away. He may even use some of that stuff for other things too.

In a pro kitchen you stretch every dollar till it cries and screams for it's mommy. I am trying to figure out what to do with a papaya marinade for Carne Asada as we speak because when I make the transition to being "Le Chef" I want to have these kinds of things wired. I am thinking what I will do is marinate one batch of meat say for tacos and then reduce it down to make a sauce reduction for steaks. In that way I have used the same marinade twice and haven't wasted any of it.

You are doing fine sticking to the plan there is nothing wrong with having a plan. These types of crazy ideas may just start coming to you like they started coming to me... out of necessity. They say "Necessity is the mother of invention" and that is so true.
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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post #18 of 22
Hey, Bliss -- the more you cook, the better you get at it! :D Even the abuelas of this world had to learn, usually from their grandmas. Nowadays, we are not so lucky, so we have to read and play around in the kitchen. But it's all worth it. And as I said before: trust your taste; the rest will come with practice.

But mredikop -- I wish what you said about frugality in professional kitchens were more in use. I think it depends on the chef and what the owners want. Some know how to use everything; some throw out a frightening amount of usable food. :cry: At least, that's what I've seen in some restaurants (both). At home, you can bet I try not to throw out anything, since it's my nickel. :lol: And yes, if I were in charge in a professional kitchen again you can be sure I'd do the same. More power to you if you can do it wherever you work. :)
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #19 of 22

Huevos Rancheros

I believe Huevos rancheros is a mexican word, anyone knows what it means?
"The truth cook hold in his palm the happiness of mankind", quote Normal Douglas, South Wind.
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"The truth cook hold in his palm the happiness of mankind", quote Normal Douglas, South Wind.
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post #20 of 22
Well not to be too much of a smart-***, but it's two Spanish words referring to a Mexican dish usually rendered in English as eggs ranch-style.
The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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The genesis of all the world's great cuisines can be summed up in a four word English phrase: Don't throw that away.
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post #21 of 22
Literally translated it's "Eggs" "Ranchers" but it means "Ranch Style Eggs" as Grumio points out. Anyone who has lived on a farm or ranch can tell you sometimes you have loads of "this" and none of "that" so the recipes differ wildly by region and socio-economic level. In one area you may have loads of pigs making Chorizo cheaper and easier to come by so the recipe from that region calls for adding Chorizo where as a poorer or less protein inundated area might either use fish or beans for protein. Some might just make scrambled eggs with salsa but to me it's all Huevos Rancheros.
Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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Mike

“If there's anything more important than my ego around, I want it caught and shot now.” -- Zaphod Beeblebrox
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post #22 of 22
I breake the yolk and make an egg tortilla, then place it on the lightly fried corn tortilla.
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