Monday, September 29, 2008

Rancho La Puerta's Huevos Rancheros

Healthy Huevos Rancheros
On Friday our company took me and a few of my co-workers to Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. It is a fabulous spa and cooking school where my friend and chef Michel Stroot, used to work but he has now retired--although he does "guest appearance" classes at the school. If you're interested in the cooking school, it's called La Cocina Que Canta and they have excellent chefs. Our chef that taught us this class was chef Deborah Schneider.

This was the very first time I've been to this spa and it was fabulous. Generally, guests stay there for 7 days but we were able to get a special one-day package. Needless to say, the cooking school was excellent and the recipe below is what I made for our team builder.

These are not your typical huevos rancheros. This dish is healthy and what I found amazing about this recipe is that all the ingredients (except the cheese), came from the ranch. They grow everything there and they have a large chicken coop, too, and I am proud to say this is the first farm-to-table meal I've cooked! The huevos were so yummy and it was even better with the homemade tortillas another one of my co-workers made. This was probably one of the best team-builders I've ever been to!

INGREDIENTS (seves 8 to 10)

  • 8 large tomatoes
  • 1 large white onion, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped into small dice
  • 1 large green or yellow bell pepper, chopped into small dice
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 to 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (low sodium)
  • 10 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 2 avocados, seeded and chopped (you do this last, when the eggs are ready)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Have a large pot of boiling water ready. Also, you will need a large bowl with ice (ice-bath) ready.

Cut a small "x" at bottom of each tomato and drop them into a large pot of boiling water. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Immediately remove and place them in the ice-bath to cool and stop the cooking. Once you can handle the tomatoes, peel the skins. Cut tomatoes in half around the circumference and gently squeeze out seeds (or use your fingers or spoon to take out). Chop tomatoes into medium size pieces.

Heat a large, heavy pan on medium-high and add two tablespoons olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, red and green or yellow pepper, and jalapeños. Add a good pinch of salt and sauté until onions become lightly transparent. About 6 to 8 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and add more salt, if needed. At this point, sauce will be slightly chunky. Add 1 cup stock and simmer a few more minutes. You don't want the sauce to be too watery. This is where you're going to have to eyeball it and add more stock, if needed (I only used 1 cup because tomatoes were a bit juicy already). Lastly, add 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper. Remove from stove and set aside.

In a large clay pot or 9x13 glass baking dish or casserole, add the tomato sauce. With the back of a small ladle, make an indentation in the sauce. Immediately crack one egg and slide it into the well you just made. You can also use a large spoon if you don't have a ladle. Continue doing this all over the sauce until you have all 10 eggs (we used 1 large clay pot and one smaller one to fit all 1o eggs). If you want, you can lightly sprinkle a little salt and pepper over each egg. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes, or until your eggs reach your desired doneness.

Remove baking dish from oven and sprinkle cotija cheese over each egg, then sprinkle with chopped cilantro and chopped avocado and serve, family style!

Chef Deborah Schneider

1 comment:

Yvonzita said...

I love love love you're blog. Exactly my type of cooking. I'm a 37 year old Mexican girl and I love to cook! You're blog has not only Mexican dishes but things I also like, like Norwegian Pancakes (crepes) and the vegetarian chili and you're turkey albondigas! I live in El Centro, Ca. But reading from you're blog. Tenemos los mismos gustos! I've been wanting to go to Rancho La Puerta for a long time! I love David Foster Wallace! Pobresito! I looked (peeked) at your Amazon wish list. Good taste in books BTW and saw the Control soundtrack! I'm like, this chick is cool! ha! ha! I love Joy Division and Ian Curtis, otro pobresito! But PLEASE keep up the good work! It's awesome! Are you on Facebook by anychance! Well congratulations on a blog well done! Cheers!