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This recipe is for those of you who like super-substantial, hardy breakfasts that will get you through 3/4 of the day. I am not in that group, I eat tiny, light breakfasts but I’m up for huevos rancheros for lunch or dinner anytime!
I put my homemade chili powder to use in this recipe, added some jalapeño, onion, garlic, canned tomatoes and some ground beef for extra substance. I finished the sauce with cilantro and scallions and then poached eggs directly in the sauce in the oven. I found that this technique works really well, you just have to make sure that the sauce is nice and hot right before you put the raw eggs on it and cover the whole thing loosely with aluminum foil while in the oven to keep the eggs from drying out.
You can easily make the sauce ahead of time as long as you heat it up again before poaching the eggs. Eat these huevos straight, with a tortilla, with rice or even with roasted or fried potatoes. I tried all these options and they were all very tasty!
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 3 tablespoons homemade chili powder (get the recipe here)
- 2 jalapeños, diced (seeds and ribs removed)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ~1.3 pounds ground beef (90 percent lean)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- one 14-ounce can petite diced tomatoes, drained
- one 14-ounce can petite diced tomatoes (whole, not drained), processed into a puree in the food processor
- salt and pepper
- 4 – 6 eggs
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
- a few drops lime juice
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven until shimmering.
- Add onion, chili powder and jalapeños and cook on medium-low heat for about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic, cook until fragrant.
- Add the beef and cook on medium heat until it's no longer red (about 8 minutes).
- Add tomato paste, all tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
- Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Use right away or store in the fridge until the next day.
- When you're ready to poach the eggs, stir the cilantro and the scallions into the sauce and then fill the sauce into a casserole pan (or into individual casserole pans).
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Heat the casserole pan/s up until the sauce is hot and place the pan/s on a baking sheet.
- Using the back of a spoon, make a few little "holes" in the sauce for the eggs to sit in.
- Put raw eggs on top of the sauce and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
- Put the pan in the oven and bake until the eggs have the desired consistency (about 9 - 12 minutes for a runny egg).
- Sprinkle a few drops of lime juice over the sauce and serve with tortillas, rice or roasted potatoes.
Food Photography and Styling: From my experience eggs are by far the most difficult food to style and photograph. You have little control over what an egg will do once you put it in the oven or the pan and even if it behaves well and looks nice the yolk will start to shrivel up so quickly that you have no more than a few minutes until you have to start over. So I had the set ready when the dish came out of the oven and was going for a rustic, early morning look. I had placed the spent lime wedge in the frame beforehand because I thought its color went well with the red of the sauce. I sprinkled some ground black pepper over the egg, mainly to break up the fairly large and pure white area around the yolk, and took the shot right before the yolk started to seize up.
Nikon D600, 105mm, f/8, 1/160 sec., ISO 100. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight, 35″ x 58″ Softbox.