Cinco de Mayo, a little late

May 18, 2015

Does that look like a marvelous breakfast, or what?

Does that look like a marvelous breakfast, or what?

There’s nothing that says good, hearty weekend breakfast like huevos rancheros.

At their simplest, huevos rancheros are simply fried eggs atop tortillas, with a splash of sauce or salsa. Assorted and various add-ons may include — but are not limited to — chorizo, fried potatoes, sauteed squash, refried beans, cheese, rice, and most anything else that occurs to you.

Peppers and eggs just go together. Ask anyone who’s ever eaten a Denver omelet, or sprinkled hot sauce on their eggs. The bite of the pepper, the heat of the capiscium, the tart from a little vinegar on the side, just plays wonderfully with the buttery richness of the egg as its yolk oozes over a fried-but-still-soft tortilla.

Different people, different regions, do their sauces differently on their huevos rancheros. In Texas, they tend toward a chunkier, salsa-type sauce, with lots of onion, tomatoes and pepper. In New Mexico, where I had the best huevos rancheros I ever had in my life in a hotel in Santa Fe, they go with a perfectly smooth ranchero-type sauce that’s mostly peppers, onions and broth. I am a devotee of the New Mexico style.

For these, I went a step further, after discovering in a rummage through the fridge that I had some arepas left over from a few nights earlier. Now, I’m all about repurposing a leftover before it gets old enough to vote, so I yanked those out and put two of them in the toaster to warm and crisp.

I fried my eggs and gently layered them over the top. Opened a can of Las Palmas enchilada sauce, my choice in these instances, and spooned some over the top. Crumbled a little ricotta salata over that (in the absence of queso fresco).

Pretty dang excellent. It would have been improved had I thawed out a couple of tamales and added them to the plate, but I would’ve been so miserable I couldn’t move. The ricotta salata is saltier than the queso fresco, but the crumbly texture is the same.

I really like using arepas instead of tortillas. They have a little more body, and the sweetness lent by the sweet corn really adds to the flavor profile. This would be a worthwhile dish if you had just a serving or two of corn left from the night before, or, for that matter, if you just took a single ear and cut the kernels off to make arepas for two. I have no doubt the dish would’ve been better had the arepas been fresh.

I ate lunch last week in a Mexican mercando/tacqueria near downtown, and I’m anxious to go back and see if they make their chorizo in-house, and if so, how it ix. I do miss being able to get house-made chorizo at the Latino market in Hot Springs. The addition of some crumbled, browned chorizo, along with a side of sauteed squash and some rice and refried beans, would elevate this dish to a worthwhile entree.

And I have nearly a quart of Las Palmas enchilada sauce in the fridge now, which, I guess, necessitates enchiladas sometime this week.

Off to do Monday stuff. You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em enjoy your Monday.



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