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Dressing up everyday eggs

  • NEW YORK TIMES PHOTO

A hearty Mexican breakfast dish served after a hard morning’s work, huevos rancheros (or “ranch-style eggs”) are a simple but powerful way to dress everyday eggs. In this recipe, a homemade salsa is used three ways: simmered into the warm ranchero sauce that drapes the eggs, stirred through the refried beans for added vitality and served atop for a tangy finish.

Eggs “rancher’s style” is a traditional, hearty Mexican breakfast typically enjoyed after a hard morning’s work. But it also makes for a satisfying and comforting weeknight dinner. The simple yet flavorful homemade salsa comes together quickly and is smartly used in three ways: a quick simmer transforms the salsa into the warm ranchero sauce; it adds a zesty flavor that shines through in the smoky refried beans; and it gives a final fresh finish as a tangy topping. Any leftover ranchero sauce and refried beans make for great dips the next day.

Huevos Rancheros

Ingredients:

• 2 pounds ripe tomatoes, diced

• 3/4 cup finely chopped white onion (from

1/2 medium onion)

• 2 tablespoons lemon juice

• 1 small jalapeño, stemmed and minced

• 2 teaspoons kosher salt, such as Diamond

Crystal, plus more for seasoning

• 1/2 teaspoon grated garlic

• 1/4 cup neutral oil, such as safflower or canola

• 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans

• 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

• 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

• 8 large eggs

• 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, plus more for serving

• 8 (6-inch) warmed corn tortillas

• Sliced avocado and crumbled queso fresco, for serving

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, combine tomatoes, onion, lemon juice, jalapeño, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the garlic, and mix well. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the fresh salsa to a bowl and set aside.

Cook the remaining salsa over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the tomatoes soften and the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Transfer the ranchero sauce to a bowl and cover to keep warm (you should have about 2 cups).

In the same saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon garlic and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add the beans (and their liquid), cumin, smoked paprika and 1/2 cup of the reserved fresh salsa, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently and mashing with the back of a spoon or potato masher, until the mixture is smooth and thick, about 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste and remove from heat.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium. Crack in 4 of the eggs and cook undisturbed until whites are set but yolks are still runny, 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a large plate and repeat with the remaining oil and eggs.

Meanwhile, stir the cilantro into the remaining 1 cup reserved salsa. Divide the tortillas across 4 plates (2 per plate). Spread refried black beans on the tortillas and top each with an egg. Cover the eggs with ranchero sauce. Divide avocado on the plates and garnish with some of the fresh salsa, queso fresco and cilantro.

Total time: 45 minutes, serves 4.

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