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Archive for November 8th, 2013

As you recall, part of November’s Eat-out challenge was trying four new recipes this month. We’ll call that the Eat-In Challenge for November. To start off the month last week, I tried my hand at a dish Bart and I had at a restaurant in Arlington a few months ago but had never made on my own.

I’d heard of huevos rancheros before, but I had never eaten it. I’m not sure why; I’m a gigantic fan of breakfast and of Mexican food, so it’s an obvious win. At this restaurant, I saw that they had not only huevos rancheros on the menu, but they had huevos rancheros divorciados. I’d never heard of this before, but the waitress explained it as huevos rancheros with both red and green sauce. As I am also a gigantic fan of green sauce, I knew I needed to try it. Despite the ominous name, it was quite delicious, so I knew it was something I wanted to try at home.

I based my red sauce on Jamie Deen’s huevos rancheros recipe; my main modification was using green chilies instead of a jalapeno. I also used diced tomatoes but decided that next time I would go with whole or stewed instead for a deeper flavor.

Base ingredients for the red sauce

Base ingredients for the red sauce

I blended these in a blender, then transferred to a sauce pan to warm while I focused on the green sauce.

For this, I used the green half of this Food Network recipe. This recipe is legit, as it called for roasting the tomatillos, onion, pepper, and garlic before making the sauce. I did this in a cast iron skillet over high heat on my awesome gas cooktop.

Roasting the ingredients for the green sauce.

Roasting the ingredients for the green sauce.

For the record, this is the first time I’ve ever used tomatillos. I have no idea if the were ripe or anything, but it seemed to turn out just fine. Then I blended them all up and transferred to yet another saucepan to warm.

Will it blend? Yes, yes it will.

Will it blend? Yes, yes it will.

I didn’t make any modifications to this recipe except for one that I literally just realized I did on accident: instead of halving the Anaheim pepper, I used a whole one. No wonder I thought it was almost too hot to eat…mystery solved. Bart tells me it was just right and to not change it. We’ll see next time. The only modification I think I’d make in the future is adding some spices like cumin and coriander for a little added depth.

Next, I turned my attention to some refried beans. I always make my own, usually with pintos that I cook myself.  I add the equivalent of one can of beans to a skillet with a little bit of oil of my choice; I used canola oil this time. Just a tablespoon or less did it for me, but definitely suit yourself.

Pre-fried beans.

Pre-fried beans.

To this I added salt, onion and garlic powder, cumin, and coriander. I’m guilty of rarely measuring spices; I’m trying to reform my practices, I promise. I use something like 1/2-1 teaspoon of each.

Spicing up the refried beans.

Spicing up the refried beans.

Add these to the beans and heat them in the skillet for 5-10 minutes. If they get too dry, just add a little water and let that cook down. Once all the flavors are incorporated, mash to the desired consistency; I use the back of a spoon or sometimes a potato masher. Mine were pretty chunky this time, but I usually like it on the creamy side.

Once that was cooking, I toasted up some flour tortillas in the cast iron skillet. Corn is probably more traditional, but I had flour tortillas so there you go.

Heating up the tortillas.

Heating up the tortillas.

Finally, I had my resident fried egg-spert, Bart, cook up a few for us. I’m the scramble master, but he’s got the magic touch for fried eggs and omelets.

Oh, and if anyone ever questions the need to have more than four burners on a cooktop, he should try making huevos rancheros sometime. Have you been counting how many separate pots and pans going on here? Go back and count them.

To assemble, I spread the refried beans on a tortilla, add the egg, then top with both red and green sauce (but this is divorciados-style, so in the immortal words of the Offspring, you’ve got to keep them separated). And a little shredded colby-jack never hurt anyone.

Huevos rancheros divorciados

Huevos rancheros divorciados

You’ll notice one glaring omission to this recipe–any sausage or chorizo. That’s because I’m a dork and I forgot to pick it up at the grocery store. That’s okay; I was running out of burners anyway.

I have no idea what it is, but there’s something about this meal that is utterly delicious. Bart and I gobbled it down and went back for more. It just goes to show that expanding your horizons and trying a new dish could lead to a new favorite to add into the rotation of reliable meals. Plus, it enforces the point that we can eat just as well or better at home than we could at a restaurant and save a bunch of cash doing so. In all regards, the first new recipe for the Eat-In Challenge was successful. I’m due up for recipe #2 any day now, so I’d better start scouting out a delicious prospect. Any suggestions?

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