The last time David and I went to California for Christmas, my sister, Susana, invited us over to her house for breakfast. It seems that most of the time our family gets together, food is involved. I’m fine with that.
I am not sure how typical this is, but our Christmas gatherings were BIG. My mom is the oldest of nine kids, so we usually held Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) at our house. It was full and it was fun. When my cousins were little, we could barely see the Christmas tree, there were so many presents piled up around it. And so were my cousins!
I’ve mentioned in a previous post that we normally have tamales for Christmas Eve. Lots of tamales. Everyone went home with some at the end of the night. And we always had tamales for breakfast the next morning.
Yes. Tamales for breakfast.
We would heat them up on the comal, where they got crispy on the outside, steamy and savory on the inside. Since we had already opened our presents, we would have breakfast while watching TV, usually PBS. They always televised music concerts on Christmas Day. I remember watching the St. Olaf Choir on those mornings. I found out later that David, my partner, sang in the choir when he was at St. Olaf. I probably saw him on TV years before I met him!
Back to breakfast: The reason I mention all of this is because it was the day after Christmas. We had our fill of tamales and many were stashed away in the freezer for later. Delicious as they are, we wanted something else. We wanted something light to eat so we asked our Mom if she would be willing to show us how she makes huevos rancheros and she agreed: if we would help. We did what we could, but she ran the show. It’s a simple but tasty recipe, so we didn’t make our Mom work too hard!
Huevos Rancheros (Mom-style)
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or canola
6 Roma tomatoes, chopped
½ – ¾ cup cilantro, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
3 serrano peppers (blanched until soft, about 5 minutes in boiling water), chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano, crumbled
1/2 cup – 1 cup water
8 -10 eggs, prepared as you like them
Refried pinto beans
queso fresco (a Mexican fresh cheese), crumbled – You can use a mild feta cheese
Avocado, sliced into wedges
Heat the oil in a 10-12 inch skillet (preferably non-stick) over medium-high heat. Once it is hot, add the red onion and serrano peppers. Sauté until the onion is translucent.
Add the tomato and cilantro. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until the tomato starts to break down.
Add ½ – 1 cup of water. Let it simmer for 5 minutes, covered. Add the oregano, crumbled along with some salt and pepper, to taste. Let it simmer for 10 – 15 minutes over medium to low heat. Set aside.
How to serve:
Prepare the eggs. Some people like their eggs done sunny-side up, so that the yolk blends with the sauce. I like mine scrambled, though that is not traditional. Some people put a tortilla under their eggs. My mom does not and I don’t either, but you can if you want. Pour some of the salsa ranchera over the eggs.
Prepare some refried beans and place alongside the eggs. Have some crumbled queso fresco ready to sprinkle over the frijoles (beans).
Slice some avocados into wedges and sprinkle with a little lime juice..
And corn tortillas are the best with this breakfast, but you can use flour tortillas too, if that is what you like.
Serve all of this on a plate and have a great desayuno (breakfast)!
- Tamales – Estilo Gallegos Mendoza (elchinolatinococina.wordpress.com)
- Huevos Rancheros with Fried Green Tomatillo’s (Gluten-Free) (beardandbonnet.com)
- Huevos Rancheros (ericasrecipes.com)
- Latin American Cuisine: Huevos Rancheros (seriouseats.com)