When I lived in San Francisco, one of my housemates came from a Spanish & Mexican family. He had a little book, kept tucked away, of his grandmother’s recipes written in Spanish (which, at the time, I did not know at all). After he realized I had memorized his Huevos Rancheros from watching, I was banned from the kitchen whenever he was making one of the magic recipes from the little book! [In case you were wondering, Initially, I didn’t know he was hoarding them.]
Each year, I would go back to the Midwest for my family Christmas and I brought this dish with me. It was a huge hit and became one of the two dishes always requested for the holiday. Several years have passed & my parents are gone. I’ve altered the dish a little, but this still in the top few for holiday breakfast. It’s super tasty, fun & colorful. I've noted variations in the sections below.
—Queen of Spoons
bacon slices, cut into 1/2" lardons
large sweet onion, 1/2" dice
small green bell pepper, seeded, in small dice
jalapeno, seeded, in small dice
clove garlic, minced
ancho chile powder
ham cut into ½” pieces
plum tomatoes, cut into ½” dice, with juice
salt & pepper to taste
cayenne pepper and/or hot pepper sauce (Cholula preferred) to taste
Huevos, Tortillas & Toppings
fresh corn tortillas
Vegetable oil for frying (e.g. canola)
Cheese for topping - shredded cheddar or crumbled queso fresco
Place bacon in large, heavy bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook down until light golden brown.
Add onion, continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent and beginning to brown.
Add bell & jalapeno peppers. Stir & continue cooking for additional 3-5 minutes.
Stir in garlic & ancho chile powder. Add ham and tomatoes/tomato liquid. Bring to boil & reduce to fast simmer. Check seasoning, adding salt, pepper, cayenne and/or hot sauce to taste. Continue simmering while preparing rest of dish.
- This is not intended to be a super hot sauce. It is more smoky, slightly spicy, with hint of sweet & heat. If tastes for spicy heat vary in your group, simply omit cayenne & hold hot sauce for addition at the table.
- To make vegetarian, increase the onions & peppers a bit & use a small amount of canned chipotle, instead of meat, for a bit of smoky flavor. I like the bacon/ham sauce a lot. So, if I have vegetarian guests, I split the sauce into two pots one with & one without.
Huevos, Tortillas & Toppings
Prepare poached eggs in vinegared water, using your favorite method. Pull from water and set aside on paper towels over a cooling rack.
Place about 1” of oil in cast iron (or similar heavy) skillet. Heat to ~375. Quickly fry each tortilla, turning once until crisp & golden. Immediately place on cooling rack above old newspaper & lightly salt while hot.
To plate: Place two tortillas (will slightly overlap) side by side on each plate. Place egg in center of each tortilla. Generously spoon sauce over each egg. Top with cheese & dollop of sour cream.
- I always make extra tortillas while the oil is hot. With extra sauce, people can make ‘eggless’ versions for seconds. Or later, it’s easy to reheat them on lowest toast setting in toaster oven for leftovers.
- You can plate them prettily. But, the family seems to enjoy if all the toppings are added to individual taste at the table.