Huevos Rancheros

MAKES: 2 servings

TIME: 35 minutes

If you have the basic components on hand, Huevos Rancheros are just a matter of assembly, and since the recipe is easily multiplied, they’re perfect for entertaining. They also make a satisfying brunch, lunch, or even dinner, especially when served with salsa, extra beans, or a mound of avocado slices, shredded lettuce, and limes. A pitcher of Mexican crema on the side is really nice.

1/4 cup neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn, plus more as needed

Four 5-inch corn tortillas

1/4 cup Twice-Cooked (Refried) Beans or any soft, well-seasoned beans

4 eggs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup Salsa Roja or Cooked Tomatillo Salsa or store-bought salsa

1/4 cup queso fresco or grated Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350В°F. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When hot but not smoking, fry the tortillas one at a time until softened and heated through, about 3 seconds per side. Make sure they do not crisp. Drain on paper towels.

Spread 1 tablespoon of the beans in the center of each tortilla and set aside. (You can prepare the dish to this point up to an hour or so in advance.)

Use a little more oil to fry the eggs sunny side up (in a nonstick skillet if you like), sprinkling with salt and pepper as they cook and following the directions for Fried Eggs, Sunny-Side Up or Over Easy. Put an egg in the center of each tortilla, then top with 2 tablespoons salsa and 1 tablespoon cheese.

Carefully transfer the tortillas to a baking dish that holds them snugly. Bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes, then serve immediately.

Variations

Simplest Huevos Rancheros. Omit the tortillas and beans. Scramble the eggs in oil; as they are beginning to set in the pan, stir in the salsa and cheese. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and serve.

Huevos Rancheros with Red Mole. A luxury, but a must if you have leftover sauce: Instead of the salsa, use the Red Mole sauce from the Cheese Enchiladas recipe. Garnish with chopped tomatoes and scallions if you like.