Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hatch Chile Huevos Rancheros

Hatch Chile Huevos Rancheros


I have a pretty epic story involving huevos rancheros, my sister, and an ill-timed 5K, but it's not what I'd call "blog appropriate."  Maybe I'll share it the day after never. ;)

Instead, I want to talk about college football!  So if you don't live in the south, you may like college football.  You might even think you love it.  But until you go to a college football game in the south, you definitely haven't lived it.  There's something magical about the first game of the season, and it's accompanying tailgate.  The very first subtle smells of fall in the air.  But it's still gloriously sunny and warm.  The energy and spirit from all the tailgates.  The seersucker.  The frat boys in bow ties.  The girls in cute sundresses.  Little kids with their faces painted.  The smell of the grill.  The judgment-free flow of mimosas and drinks before noon.  And the food.  The food at a tailgate is vital to the success of the tailgate.

When we were young and responsibility free, our Saturdays in the fall were spent on campus at Georgia Tech.  We had a pretty amazing tailgate group.  Every week was themed, and there was even a spreadsheet.  We took our tailgates seriously, like good southern kids.

So what does all this have to do with huevos rancheros?  Well, I loved having breakfast at our tailgates - it gave me an excuse to drink a mimosa ;).  And I think this would be a pretty fabulous dish to take to a tailgate.  Or if you can't go to a tailgate, then it's definitely a pretty fabulous dish to enjoy at home.

If huevos rancheros is on a brunch menu, there's a really good chance I'm ordering it.  But I've yet to master a homemade version.  Until now, that is.  This version has it all, and it even has a make-ahead option.

The method is a bit unorthodox, and it does take a while, but almost all of it is inactive.  And the extra time is definitely worth it because the flavors of the vegetables are so beautiful and intense, and balance so well with the spiciness from the peppers.  The cheese and runny eggs just put it over the top, and a big plate of these served with fresh corn tortillas is pretty much my idea of perfection.  Especially when I can wash it down with a mimosa.

Hatch Chile Huevos Rancheros

Hatch Chile Huevos Rancheros
adapted from Cook's Country, August/September 2014
serves 4-6

Hatch chiles are in season right now, so I used them in place of poblanos here.  If you can't find them, using a poblano is more than okay.  I also procured some Hatch chile cheddar, which was really great here.  

  • 1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
  • 1 Tbs packed brown sugar
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbs chile powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced (or 1 poblano pepper)
  • 1 cup shredded Hatch chile cheddar (or Pepperjack cheese)
  • 8 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 6 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Set a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl and drain the tomatoes, pressing with a rubber spatula to extract as much liquid as possible.  Transfer the liquid to a 2-cup liquid measuring cup and reserve 1 3/4 cups of the tomato juice, discarding the rest.  Whisk in the sugar and lime juice and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the tomatoes, onion, olive oil, chile powder, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Spread the mixture into an even layer on the prepared baking sheet.  Roast 35 to 40 minutes, stirring halfway through.  

Remove from the oven and reduce heat to 400 degrees.

Transfer the roasted tomato mixture to a 9x13 inch baking dish, and stir in the tomato juice mixture and hatch chiles.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with cheese, then use the back of a ladle to form 8 small "wells"in the tomato mixture.*

Carefully crack an egg into each well, then sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper.

Bake until the whites are just beginning to set but still have some movement, 13 to 15 minutes.  

Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack, and cover with foil.  Let the eggs sit for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle cilantro over the top, and serve.

*If you are making this ahead, at this point cover the baking dish and refrigerate until you're ready to cook and serve.  If you're traveling with this to a tailgate, I would prepare it up to this step in a grill-safe aluminum foil pan, then cook the eggs on the grill as you would in the oven.  


Josie said...

This looks amazing Josie, my kind of breakfast for sure!

Josie said...

This is such a giant batch of YUM!!! Love this recipe Josie!

Josie said...

I am so with you on the tailgating and college football. College football season is one of the best parts of the year! I missed real tailgating so much living in Arizona. I once went to an Arizona State game and was so excited because we were going to tailgate beforehand. I was so confused/sad/shocked/befuddled when I got there and the "tailgate" was literally a Camry and a couple of six packs and hour before the game. Amateurs.

Josie said...

These are great! I even subbed half whole wheat flour.

Josie said...

I've actually never tailgated. Ever. And I definitely feel like I missed out on a little something in life because of it. I guess the best I can do now is make this and pretend I'm at a tailgate?! Mimosas required, obviously.

Josie said...

You are definitely missing out!! Get thee to ATL ASAP!

Josie said...

My brother said the same thing when he lived in Phoenix. He was sorely disappointed!

Josie said...

I'm assuming you add the roasted onion-chili powder mix to the canned tomatoes? Or are the tomatoes supposed to get roasted with the onions? It's never mentioned what to do after you pull the sheet pan out of the oven. Thanks.

Josie said...

Oh thanks for catching that! The onion- spice mixture + the tomatoes are roasted together. I'll update the recipe with the correction.

Josie said...

It wasn't tailgating, but breakfast-for-dinner night and this was enjoyed by all. Thanks again for the clarification.

Josie said...

So glad you liked it!

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