Dish Spotlight: Huevos Rancheros

Eggs are one of the most versatile ingredients available. They’re equally delicious on their own or as part of a more complex dish. In one of Mexico’s most famed dishes, huevos rancheros (rancher-style eggs), eggs are the star of the show, but the supporting cast – tortillas, beans, salsa and more – bring it all together.

The dish originated on Mexican ranches where vaqueros and other ranch hands needed a hearty, filling morning meal that would stand up to the taxing demands of their work. Fried tortillas served as the traditional underpinnings of the dish, and they would be topped with eggs (often fried), beans and salsas made with tomatoes, chilies, onions – and whatever else the chef chose. In an alternate version of the dish, huevos divorciados (divorced eggs), two eggs are served on the same plate, but with different salsas (often green tomatillo and red tomato).

Luckily for many home chefs, from experts to those just learning to cook, huevos rancheros is a dish that invites experimentation and accommodates different palates. Eggs can be served scrambled, sunnyside up, poached or any way you like. You can use whole or refried beans; and, of course, you can add extra ingredients, like sauteed vegetables, chorizo, avocado, cheese or sour cream. You can also mix up the cooking method and try baked huevos rancheros. Those who really want to put their own spin on the dish should try creating homemade salsa – simply adjust the seasonings and spiciness to your preferred level.

Some famous dishes don’t allow you to deviate much from the recipe, but huevos rancheros won’t hold back your creativity. Simply follow the basic idea, improvise where you like, and you’ll have a favorite version in no time.

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