Pages

Monday, January 22, 2018

Huevos Rancheros--Three Ways

Here are three methods for cooking this pantry/refrigerator friendly meal. The most flavorful method calls for roasting tomatoes, chiles, and garlic. But in the summer, when there are tomatoes in the garden, I don't like heating the oven (and kitchen). I've included a couple options so Huevos Rancheros can be a year round meal.



Note:

Anything you like on a taco would be good with this dish. It almost goes without saying, avocado is great. I also like to use crumbled queso fresco and/or Mexican crema if I have either on hand.

Print

Huevos Rancheros--Three Ways


Serves 2-4

1-3 jalapeno chiles halved with seeds and ribs removed (to taste)
1 1/2 pds plum tomatoes (about 8 medium) halved and cored
1/2 onion, cut in half-inch slices
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 T tomato paste
1 teas salt
3 T vegetable oil, divided use
1/2 teas ground cumin
1/8 teas cayenne, optional 
3 T minced fresh cilantro, divided use
1/4 teas ground black pepper
1-2 T fresh lime juice, plus additional lime cut into wedges for serving
1 c cooked beans (whatever you have, rinsed if canned), optional
4-6 corn tortillas, or flour if that is what you have
4-6 large eggs

Using fresh tomatoes roasted in the oven:

If you are using supermarket tomatoes, this is the most flavorful method.

Heat the oven to 375F with the rack in the middle position. Finely chop one jalapeno and set it aside. In a small bowl, stir together the tomato paste, salt, 2 T of the oil, cumin and cayenne (if using). Place the remaining chiles, tomatoes, onions, garlic on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle the tomato paste mixture over the top of the vegetables. Stir to coat and turn tomatoes and chiles over so the cut side is down. Place in the oven and roast until the tomatoes are tender and skins have started to shrivel and brown. With tongs, transfer the onions, garlic, and jalapenos to a food processor and run the machine until these vegetables are nearly broken down, about 10 seconds. Scrape the sides of the processor bowl and add the tomatoes and process until the tomatoes are still chunky like salsa. Add 2 tablespoons cilantro, black pepper, reserved jalapeno, and lime juice and pulse once.

Turn the oven up to 450F for crisping the tortillas.

Pour the tomato mixture into a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat; add beans, if using, and bring to a simmer. Using a large spoon, make 4-6 wells in the tomato mixture and break an egg into each well. Sprinkle each egg with salt and pepper to taste and cover the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook according to your preference.

In the meantime place the tortillas on a baking sheet and brush each side with the remaining oil. If desired, sprinkle each tortilla with salt and place in the oven. Bake until the tortillas become crisp and start to turn golden. Flip and toast the second side, although for less time.

Although the tortillas can be served on the side (my preference) they can be placed on a dinner plate and smothered with a good scoop of the tomato mixture and an egg. Top with remaining cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

Print
Stove top Huevos Rancheros with fresh tomatoes:

1-3 jalapeno chiles halved with seeds and ribs removed (to taste)
1 1/2 pds plum tomatoes (about 8 medium) halved and cored
1/2 onion, cut in half-inch slices
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 T tomato paste
1 teas salt
2 T vegetable oil, divided use
1/2 teas ground cumin
1/8 teas cayenne, optional
3 T minced fresh cilantro, divided use
1/4 teas ground black pepper
1-2 T fresh lime juice, plus additional limes cut into wedges for serving
1 c cooked beans (whatever you have, rinsed if canned), optional
4-6 corn tortillas, or flour if that is what you have
4-6 large eggs

Chop one jalapeno and set aside. Heat a 12-inch skillet to medium high and place tomatoes and halved jalapenos in it skin down and allow them to char turning as needed so that each side begins to brown. They will soften and possibly split. Add 1 T oil, the tomato paste, salt, cumin, and cayenne (if using) and cook for a minute or two. Place the tomato mixture in a food processor when finished. Place the onions and the remaining 1 T oil in the skillet and lower heat to medium or medium low. Drop the garlic cloves in as well. Allow the onions to cook until quite brown and let the garlic get softer and somewhat browned.

Once onions are cooked pull the garlic out and add onions to the food processor. You can add the garlic whole if your food processor will chop them to your liking. I prefer to chop them a bit or push them through a garlic press. Add the garlic to the tomatoes and onions in the food processor. Process until the vegetables are still slightly chunky. Add 2 T cilantro, black pepper, reserved jalapeno, and lime juice and pulse once.

Pour the tomato mixture back into the skillet over medium heat, add beans, if using, and bring to a simmer. Using a large spoon, make 4-6 wells in the tomato mixture and break an egg into each well. Sprinkle eggs with salt and pepper to taste and cover the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook until eggs are as done as you like.

Heat tortillas in the microwave (on high) wrapped in a damp kitchen cloth until heated through. This won't result in crispy tortillas but will keep the kitchen cool.

Place an egg or two plus plenty of the tomato mixture on a plate with a tortilla on the side or underneath. Top with a sprinkle of cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. 


Print
Stove top  Huevos Rancheros with canned tomatoes:

1-3 jalapeno chiles halved with seeds and ribs removed (to taste)
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes, drained
1/2 onion, cut in half-inch slices
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 T tomato paste
1 teas salt
2 T vegetable oil, divided use
1/2 teas ground cumin
1/8 teas cayenne, optional
3 T minced fresh cilantro, divided use
1/4 teas ground black pepper
1-2 T fresh lime juice, plus additional limes cut into wedges for serving
1 c cooked beans (whatever you have, rinsed if canned), optional
4-6 corn tortillas, or flour if that is what you have
4-6 large eggs


I weighed only the tomatoes from a 28-oz can and came up with about 1 1/4 pounds which was close enough to the original recipe. I recommend using whole tomatoes and squeezing them into a bowl (go ahead, use your clean hands). Diced tomatoes are treated with calcium chloride for shape retention and they won't break down as nicely. I mimic the "roasted" flavor by cooking the onions to a deep brown (if you are short on time, just cook onions until soft). In this version, I don't use a food processor but chop all vegetables except tomatoes on a cutting board. You can use a processor or even a blender if you like the sauce to be smoother rather than chunky.

Chop all the jalapenos. Reserve a tablespoon of cilantro for garnish.

Heat 1 T oil in a nonstick skillet and cook the onions and whole garlic cloves over medium heat until onions are quite brown and garlic has dark roasted spots. Remove the whole garlic cloves and add the jalapenos, tomato paste, salt, cumin, and cayenne (if using) and cook for a few minutes. Chop or mince the garlic and return to the skillet. Add the crushed tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice to the onions and garlic. Cook for 5-10 minutes until tomatoes have broken down and the sauce has thickened. Stir in the beans, if desired, and make wells in the sauce for the eggs. Break an egg into each well and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and cover the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook until eggs are as done as you like.

Heat tortillas in the microwave (on high) wrapped in a damp kitchen cloth until heated through. This won't result in crispy tortillas but will keep the kitchen cool.

Place an egg or two plus plenty of tomato mixture on a plate with a tortilla on the side or underneath. Top with a sprinkle of cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Knobby Apple Cake

My mom often baked this old-fashioned cake recipe and I've found it in several old community cookbooks, often with different names (such as Ozark Pudding) but the same ingredient list.  It's a a fruity dessert (always a plus) and is a great place to use apples a bit past their prime. It's also considerably less work than a pie and less intimidating.


print

Grandma Betty's Knobby Apple Cake


Source: my mother
Yield:  8X8 pan maybe doubled to yield a 9X13

Altitude adjustments for 4300-5000 above sea level are in parentheses.

On chopping apples: I leave the skin on (but apples can be peeled) and chop quite small, about 1/4 inch dice but my mom used a larger dice, at least half inch or more. Both work.


3 T butter
1 c sugar (reduce by 1 T for altitude)
1 egg
2 teas vanilla
1/2 teas cinnamon
1/4 teas freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teas salt
1 teas baking soda (minus 1/8 to 1/4 teas)
1 c flour (increase by 1 1/2 T)
3 c diced apples
1/2 c chopped nuts

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients but don't beat. The batter will be quite thick. Add the apples and nuts and stir. Place in greased cake pan and smooth the top. Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

This is good with ice cream, whipped cream, or creme anglaise (my favorite). My mother used this sauce:

Lemon Sauce

1/2 c sugar
1 T cornstarch
1/8 teas nutmeg
1/8 teas salt
1 c boiling water
1 1/2 T lemon juice
2 T butter

Cook first five ingredients until thick.  Add lemon juice and butter. Her note pointed out: "This sauce doesn't reheat well." So if you are serving only a couple of people, you might want to half the recipe--use a pinch when you divide 1/8 teas.