2 - Huevos Rancheros

Like most people growing up in the northeast in the fifties and sixties, or even seventies, I never encountered Mexican food. I did always order chili con carne at the Walgreen's drugstore in the Port Authority before getting on the bus back to Jersey City, but I don’t think that counts.

Once we moved to Los Angeles it was a different story. My restaurant breakfast of choice soon became huevos rancheros. The eggs were usually lightly fried--sunny side up, served on top of two tortillas, topped with a bit of tomato sauce, and accompanied by beans and rice and some shredded lettuce.

I rarely made it at home, but I had, of course, clipped a recipe from the Los Angeles Times, which was the inspiration for an excellent breakfast for Sarah’s middle-school friend Hannah, who dropped in one morning once they were all away in college.

Here it is—in its current form:

Sauté one finely chopped onion. When it is soft--add a couple of cloves chopped garlic. You can then add some sort of chopped peppers (I think I used two green chiles--mushy from a can--but you could also chop a bit of jalapeno, or one chipotle pepper--or just some chili powder--depending on how hot and/or smoky you want it). Add a cup or so of chopped tomatoes. Cook for a bit until it looks like a proper sauce.

When you’re almost ready to eat--break two eggs and gently slide them into the simmering sauce--spooning some sauce over the eggs as they cook. Serve on tortillas.

If you’re really on top of it, you can also have rice and beans. It would be singularly impressive if you had rice ready for breakfast—if you’re clever you might have some leftovers to fill the bill.

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