In its simplest form, huevos rancheros consists of tortillas, tomato salsa, and eggs cooked however you wish. I like poached, but fried or scrambled—whatever you like best—is fine, too.
Tortillas: I like the tortillas made from a mix of cornmeal and flour. Both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s sell this hybrid variety, which has a nice corn flavor without a gummy texture.
This salsa recipe has been adapted from one in America’s Test Kitchen’s Cook It In Cast Iron.
Of course, avocado, sour cream, and beans would all be welcomed here, but keeping it simple also keeps these huevos rancheros light and fresh-tasting. Once you have the salsa made, which will keep for several days in the fridge, these take no time to whip up.
2 to 3 cups salsa
Blistered Tomato Salsa
1 1/2 pounds
small onion, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
jalapeño, stem removed, seeds left intact, quartered
cloves garlic, smashed
teaspoon whole cumin seeds or ground cumin
cilantro, stems and all
fresh lime juice, plus more wedges for serving
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil, the tomatoes, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred and blistered, about 10 minutes. Transfer to food processor or blender but don't blend just yet.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in now-empty skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add jalapeño and onion and cook until lightly charred, about 8 minutes—it's okay if the seeds and skins are looking brown and blistered. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to the food processor or the blender holding the tomatoes. Add the cilantro and lime juice. Process until smooth. Set aside.
Bring a medium-sized, covered pot of water to a boil. Preheat the broiler to high. Crack as many eggs you are using into individual ramekins. Remove pan of water from heat source. Drop eggs one at a time into pot. Cover pan and set aside for 3 minutes, or until whites are set but yolks are still runny—test by lifting egg from water with slotted spoon and touching gently. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.
Meanwhile, lightly rub each tortilla with oil on each side, and set on a broiler pan or on a cooling rack set on a sheetpan. Broil for 2 minutes, watching closely, or until lightly golden. Remove pan from broiler, flip tortillas, and broil again for 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove pan from broiler. Top each with 2 tablespoons of the salsa. Top each with a poached egg. Sprinkle with cheese to taste. Return pan to broiler and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese has melted.
Remove pan from oven. Sprinkle with scallions, if using, and serve with lime wedges and more salsa on the side.