Huevos Rancheros (and other Mexican breakfast)

Chilaquiles from Paco and John Diner in Fort Worth Texas

I am a lover of breakfast and also lover of Mexican food.  A few days a week during the school year I teach near a cafe that makes really good Huevos Rancheros.  I eat “lunch” with the kindergarteners at 10:30 AM so I order Huevos Rancheros…or rather the lady at the cafe sees me coming and puts in my order for Huevos Rancheros.  In the summer I often go work in Texas which has WAY better Mexican food than New York does.  The photos here are of  breakfast chilaquiles and lunch tacos from a Mexican Diner in Fort Worth Texas called Paco and John.  If you find yourself in Fort Worth you must go eat breakfast or lunch at Paco and John’s.  It doesn’t look fancy from the outside, but it will change your life.

When I am not teaching at PS 130 or working in Texas, I make my own Huevos Rancheros at home.  Sometimes I eat them for dinner or lunch instead of breakfast.  I make a big batch of black beans and a big batch of roasted tomato or tomatillo salsa in advance so that all I have to do in the morning is fry the eggs, warm the tortillas and make the guacamole.


  • warm tortillas
  • fried eggs
  • roasted tomato or tomatillo salsa OR simmered tomato or tomatillo sauce with jalepenos  (recipes below)
  • black beans (my recipe for chipotle black beans)
  • guacamole (recipe below)
  • cotija or feta cheese (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • Cooked greens (thats just me.  I eat cooked greens with everything!)

Lay out two warm tortillas.  Put the fried eggs on top.  Spoon the salsa and guacamole over the eggs.  Put a some black beans on the side and top with cheese and sour cream (if using).


This is more or less a recipe that I learned from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen cookbook.

  • 1 pound fresh tomatoes or 1 pound fresh tomatillos (husked and rinsed)
  • 2 fresh Jalepeno peppers (see note about peppers below)
  • 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4- 1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 2 to 4 ounces white onion, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar if using tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar if using tomatillos (optional)
  1. Place the tomatoes or tomatillos on a baking sheet in a hot broiler.  Broil for 5 to 6 minutes or until they are blistered and blackened on one side.
  2. Flip with tongs and blacken the second side.
  3. While the tomatoes or tomatillos are blackening roast the un-peeled garlic and chile peppers on a hot dry skillet.  Flip so that both sides have black spots.  The garlic and chiles should be soft.  The chiles will take about 10 minutes.  The garlic will take about 15 minutes.
  4. When the tomatoes or tomatillos are cool slip them out of their skins.  Discard the skins but save all the juice.
  5. When the garlic is cool peel the skins off.
  6. When the peppers are cool pull off their stems.
  7. Using a mortar and pestle or blender grind the chiles, garlic and salt into a paste.  Add the tomatoes or tomatillos and all of their juice and process to a course puree.
  8. Stir the cilantro into the salsa.
  9. If you are using onion, rinse them under cold water to take some of the bite off.  Shake off the extra water and add the onion to the salsa.
  10. Taste you salsa and adjust the salt if needed.  If you are using tomatoes you may want to add a bit of cider vinegar.  If you are using tomatillos you may want to add a bit of sugar.  Don’t be shy about adjusting the seasoning!  The salsa should make your mouth water!
Note:  You can use spicier peppers like serranos if you like (I don’t).  Try making this salsa with Tomatillos and 3 canned chiles chipotle en adobo from a can instead of jalepenos.  Omit the onion and cilantro.

This is also more or less a recipe that I learned from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen cookbook!

  • 1 pound tomatoes or tomatillos (husked and washed)
  • 2 jalepenos (you could use serranos if you like heat)
  • 1  or 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 to 6 ounces onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 1 and 1/2  to 2 cups chicken broth
  • salt (amount depends on saltiness of the broth)
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  1. Place the tomatoes or tomatillos and chili peppers on a baking sheet and roast under a broiler until they are blackend on one side (5 or 6 minutes)
  2. Flip them and roast on the second side.
  3. Once the roated chiles are cool, pull their stems off and coarsely chop them. Set aside.
  4. Once the roasted tomatoes or tomatillos are cool, remove and discard their skins, saving all of the juices.
  5. Coarsely puree the tomatoes or tomatillos along with their juices  in a blender or food processor.
  6. Heat a Tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion and fry until golden.  Add the garlic (if using) and continue frying until the onion begins to brown.
  7. Scrape the onion into the blender and blend briefly along with the tomato or tomatillo.  Add the peppers to the blended mixture.
  8. Heat he remaining tablespoon of oil in the skillet until quite hot.
  9. Add the tomatoes or tomatillos and the chiles to the hot skillet.  Allow it to sizzle and darken for about 5 minutes then reduce the heat, add the broth and allow it to simmer and thicken for about 15 minutes.
  10. Add the cilantro (if using). Taste and adjust the salt.
I do not know why, but where I grew up (with hippies in Canada in the 70s) Guacamole was always made with avocado, lots of lemon juice even more raw garlic.  It was quite yummy and I sometimes still make guacamole this way.  However, it turns out that traditionally guacamole is made with lime juice, salt and just a wee bit of finely chopped garlic.  Sometimes fresh tomatoes, jalapenos and cilantro are in the mix or a bit of a roasted salsa (like one of the ones above).  As much as I love the hippy guacamole of my childhood, a more traditional guacamole is WAY more delicious and no more difficult to make.

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