Huevos rancheros literally meaning ‘rancher’s eggs,’ is a traditional Mexican breakfast typically served with eggs, corn tortillas, beans, and tomatoes. As with most dishes, different regions of Mexico have different takes on this common dish and I’m here to add mine to the mix.
I truly love any meal that is served with tortillas. I’m not sure if it’s the nimbleness of eating with my hands, or simply the purely delicious nature of the masa. Either way, this recipe has become a regular contender in my weekend breakfast rotation.
The most efficient way to get this ensemble going is to start with the beans. Dice up the onion and toss it into a heated pan with olive oil. Add the minced garlic and black beans. Saute for a few minutes before adding the spices. Reduce the heat and let it simmer away. While the spices are melding, chop the chard and prepare the tortilla dough.
Friends- making corn tortillas is amazingly simple. I spent years shying away from this task until one day I bought some masa harina, turned out the dough and lost myself in the bliss of freshly made tortillas. I will never go back to store-bought. Here’s what you do: pour one cup of masa harina into a bowl. Mix in the salt. Add in hot water. That’s it. No kneading, no resting, just throw them on the griddle and eat! If you don’t have a tortilla press (I didn’t until recently), simply break the dough into 1.5 inch balls and then use a heavy flat pan to press them flat. Toss them on a heated pan, roughly 60-90 seconds per side.
As you work through your tortillas, store the finished ones in a wrapped in a bowl. This will keep the moisture in so they’re warm when the rest of the dish catches up.
With your tortillas done, check the beans. I add a few tablespoons of water every few minutes to keep the bean mix moist. When the flavors are getting good strong, heat a second pan for the chard and eggs. Saute the chard for 3-5 minutes in olive oil. Push the greens to the side and then crack the eggs into the empty space. Reduce heat and cover pan. Cook until the egg whites are set.
Assembly time! Place one tortilla on your serving plate. Top with bean mix, a spoonful of chard and a sprinkle of cotija cheese. Place a second tortilla on top and repeat the process. After the chard, carefully set the sunnyside up egg on top. Sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne and garnish with cotija and cilantro.