Sunday, October 9, 2011

Huevos Rancheros... or my version of tex-mex style eggs...

Who still has allergies in October?  I do, apparently, and they're much worse than they have been throughout the summer.  With all this weirdly warm, non-fall weather we're having, and maybe also due to what I hear is a really good, late corn crop for Colorado, allergens are high, high, HIGH.  People say that Colorado has no fall season, and it seams to be true.  We just jumped from weeks of weather in the 80s, with none of the blustery autumn temperatures that require so much as a sweater, and then woke yesterday morning to...  snow.  That's how it goes.  But I'm hoping the snow will clear the air of everything that's making me sneeze lately.

I woke up at 2am last Tuesday morning after sneezing 20 times, and got up to take one of the good (expensive) allergy pills, which no longer seem to be working for me for some reason, and sneezed 30 more times.  As I stood in the kitchen, waiting for the sneezing to subside and the allergy pill to quickly (hopefully) take effect, I pondered eating the last pumpkin pecan streusel muffin with some honey.  Surely, that would help the allergy attack subside.  2am snacks are usually extremely beneficial, right?  I decided against eating the muffin, though, and still sneezing uncontrollably, I transferred chicken from the freezer to the refrigerator, which I'd forgotten to thaw out for dinner that night, and I studied my kitchen calendar, which I'd been noting some upcoming events on earlier in the evening.

Since it's a Food Network calendar, it notes one or two food holidays each week, and I saw that Tuesday the 4th was National Taco Day.  Naturally, I was planning to make tacos that Thursday.  Okay, truthfully, I never follow those food holidays, but since I already had the ingredients on hand for tacos, I decided to switch our menu plan a little.  Steak Tacos on Tuesday, Grilled Chicken and Brown Rice on Wednesday, warm Bacon and Egg Salad on Thursday, Chicken Dijon on Friday.  Hmm, Friday's dinner would now have to be rearranged, too, though, since I convinced Jamie it would be a good idea for us to kick off our vacation week by dressing up all fancy and going to see Swan Lake.  His first (should I say only?) time, my second - I've seen The Nutcracker Suite once before.  Apparently, I now owe him a lifetime of back massages for this event.  But I actually suggested going to see a WWE Raw Wrestling match at the Pepsi Center that night instead, and the ballet a different night, but he said there weren't any good wrestlers at the match, so he did have his chance.  :)

Jamie had been the one to suggest tacos, and he had in mind some tender, shredded beef tacos.  Of course, with the way things go, meat didn't end up getting slow cooked all day...  so we just cooked a few steaks and sliced those up.  The steak was fine, the tacos were fine, everything was just...  fine.  I was a little underwhelmed by it, maybe because I had succulent shredded beef on my mind, and this just wasn't that.  You know by now I hate to throw away leftovers, or any cooking experiment that isn't quite right, since I almost always think it can be re-purposed in some way (like the failed brownie cupcakes turned into crumbs for a no-bake crust of a to-die-for chocolate pie...)

Whenever we happen to go out for breakfast, Jamie often orders Huevos Rancheros, so although I don't often make tex-mex at home, or claim to be any sort of expert on this cuisine, I knew I could use the leftovers from our taco night to make a yummy Mexican-style breakfast.  Healthy, too, if you don't go too crazy with all the ingredients.  Low fat sour cream and part-skim cheese lighten it up, and the small whole-wheat tortillas we like to buy only pack 2 grams of fat and 80 calories each.  And the egg, salsa and beans are full of good fiber, protein and nutrients.  So there you go!

Oh, and by the way...  cilantro?  Yeah, I don't like it.  I think it tastes like soap.  So you'll never see this in any of my salsa recipes.  Just giving you fair warning!  :)

Huevos Rancheros
  • 2 small whole wheat tortillas
  • 2-4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Roasted Poblano and Corn Salsa (recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 ounces leftover cooked steak, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • sour cream and guacamole for garnish
Heat a skillet to medium high and preheat the broiler in the oven.  Warm the tortillas in the skillet, about 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown and slightly crisp. Transfer tortillas to a baking sheet lined with foil.

Reduce the heat under the skillet to medium, and spray the skillet with non-stick cooking spray.  Crack the eggs whole into the skillet and cook on one side only for 2-3 minutes.

Top each tortilla with the salsa, black beans, steak, cheese, and lastly the egg/s.  Place under the broiler to warm for approximately two minutes.  Top with the sour cream and guacamole and serve immediately.
Recipe serves 2.

Roasted Poblano and Corn Salsa
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 1 ear of corn, husked
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, diced (seeds removed)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 4 tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • salt and pepper
 Turn on the broiler on low in the oven.  Place the poblano pepper and corn on a baking sheet lined with foil, and drizzle with the olive oil.  Broil for 15-20 minutes, turning as needed, until the peel on the pepper is blistered and the corn is charred.  Set aside until cool enough to handle.

Slice the corn off the cob and place in a bowl.  Peel the skin off the pepper, remove the seeds and dice the pepper.  Add to the bowl.  Add the tomatoes, onion, parsley and lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper.