A heart attack just waiting in the wings.

What you do, if you want to do it the gringo way, is take an English muffin and slice it in half. On top of these halves, place two fried eggs, a heap of chili, diced tomatoes, some salsa, a few spoonfuls of sour cream, some chopped olives, and, just for kicks, some Tabasco (or even habanero) sauce.

Eat with a knife and fork. Ah, hell. Life's short. Just smoosh your face right into it.

Most people substitute the english muffins for a tortilla of some variety, usually corn. My cookbook has a recipe that requires one to cook the eggs with the ingredients, and omits the chili (you make your own -- how very DIY of Betty Crocker), salsa, and sour cream from the equation, and, consequently, most of the artery clenching fun of the meal.

Huevos rancheros usually tend to be greasy diner fare, which is why I first fell in love with them, although it's usually best not to be trapped on a long car ride with yourself or anyone else who partakes of this succulent cuisine a few hours after breakfast. If I make 'em at home I usually follow the English muffin formula and add chives and garlic and potatoes and whatever else happens to be dwelling in my fridge that will add to the sheer horror factor without infringing on my taste buds.

Huevos rancheros are quick, easy, and aren't as hazardous to your health as Moon Waffles or a Good Morning Burger. Just, uhm, try not to make them an absolute staple of your diet, okay?

The Ultimate Hangover Cure.

For about a month in San Jose del Cabo, I surfed and lived on the heady mix of huevos rancheros and Pacífico Clara. It is by far the most addictive fried egg dish on the market, and when served with fresh fruit, café con leche, refried beans, and beer it both satisfies most of your daily dietary requirements and improves your mad surfing style.

Sadly however, I come from a country with abundant surf, yet virtually devoid of the influence of Mexican culture. Despite our wealth of fantastic food and people like sneff, good Mexican is non-existent. Salsa Ranchera can't be bought in tinned form! There are no tortillerias!. So I learnt this recipe from a wizened Baja California local:

What You'll Need

For the salsa

  • A kilo of ripe tomatoes, roasted with skin on. Use tinned tomatoes if you're feeling lazy/hungover.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped roughly
  • 6 fresh serrano chiles, stemmed and roasted
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 chopped white onions
For the rest

What to do:

Put the tomatoes, garlic, and chiles in a food processor and briefly puree, leaving a few good chunks. Heat oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook for about 3 minutes. Pour in the tomato mix and cook for a further 5 minutes over high heat, until the sauce has thickened slightly. Keep warm.

Wrap tortillas in aluminium foil, and warm in the oven. Fry the eggs as you see fit. Poach them if you want, it matters nought. I like them runny. Overlap 2 tortillas on each plate and top with 2 eggs. Spoon a hefty dose of the warm tomato mix (salsa ranchera) over your eggs, then the sour cream. Sprinkle cheese and coriander over the top as required.

I lived in Hawaii for a year when I was 17. Maui, specifically, in a little desert (yes, desert) city called Kihei.

Being angry, young and poor on a tropical island didn't suit me well, so I became a much nicer, but still fairly young and poor cashier & cook at a small taqueria called Maui Tacos. Great food there, they happened to have the absolute greatest huevos rancheros ever made. At least in my opinion.

Here is essentially an at-home clone:

  • Enchilada sauce! You can try some of the canned stuff (I've never found any I really enjoy) or you can try making your own (try adding some canned tomatoes, garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt, and lastly some stock, whether it be chicken or vegetable, to your blender. Liquify. Simmer it for 20 mins and spice as needed.) You can also take 1 can of enchilada sauce, cream of mushroom soup, and tomato soup. Mix them together, add some chili powder and cumin and you have a fairly good sauce.
  • Oil for frying tortillas! It's not a neccessary step, but it makes them darn tasty.
  • Tortillas! I use white corn tortillas. They're tasty.
  • Spanish rice - you can take the trouble to fry and then cook the rice, or you can just buy one of those packaged mixes.
  • Refried beans! You don't actually even need to fry them; liquifying them will work just as well, remember not to over season them!
  • Cheeeeese... mm. I prefer a monterey jack blend, but you can vary it for your taste.
  • Eggs

This is fairly self-explanatory; get all of your sauce, beans, and rice nice and hot, fry the tortillas (or warm them on a grill), put them down on the bottom of the plate. Add some beans, then some rice, then your fried eggs, enchilada sauce to cover it all, and add a generous amount of cheese. Absolutely freaking fantastic, plus you've got leftovers!

And thanks go out to C-Dawg for pointing out my typo.

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