Your Favorite Breakfast Just Got Better

1Photo: Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen.
When developing a huevos rancheros recipe, we looked at each layer of the dish separately to produce a quick, satisfying, south-of-the-border meal of tortillas, eggs, and salsa. Starting at the top, we enhanced the flavor of the salsa’s tomatoes, chiles, and onions with a little tomato paste and then roasted them. Poaching the eggs in the hot salsa not only left them looking perfect but also gave them a boost of flavor. For the final touch to our huevos rancheros recipe, we brushed supermarket tortillas with oil, sprinkled a little salt on top, and toasted them so they'd be crisp and dry enough to provide a sturdy and flavorful base for the eggs and salsa.
Huevos Rancheros
Serves 2 to 4
To save time in the morning, make the salsa the day before and store it overnight in the refrigerator. For extra-spicy salsa, add some of the reserved jalapeño ribs and seeds to taste. If you need to hold the tortillas for a short time, cover the baking sheet with foil. If you like, serve with refried beans.
3 medium jalapeño chiles, halved, seeds and ribs removed (see note above)
1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes (about 8 medium), cored and halved
1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
2 medium cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp tomato paste
Table salt
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp minced fresh cilantro leaves
Ground black pepper
1 - 2 tbsp fresh lime juice from 1 or 2 limes, plus additional lime cut into wedges for serving
4 corn tortillas
4 large eggs
For The Salsa:
Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Mince one jalapeño and set aside. In medium bowl, combine tomatoes, remaining jalapeños, onion, garlic, tomato paste, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp oil, cumin, and cayenne; toss to mix thoroughly. Place vegetables cut-side down on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tomatoes are tender and skins begin to shrivel and brown, 35 to 45 minutes; cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Increase oven heat to 450 degrees. Using tongs, transfer roasted onions, garlic, and jalapeños to bowl of food processor. Process until almost completely broken down, about 10 seconds, pausing halfway through to scrape sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Add tomatoes and process until salsa is slightly chunky, about 10 seconds more. Add 2 tbsp cilantro, reserved minced jalapeño, salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste.
For The Tortillas:
Brush both sides of each tortilla lightly with remaining tablespoon oil, sprinkle both sides with salt, and place on clean baking sheet. Bake until tops just begin to color, 5 to 7 minutes; flip tortillas and continue to bake until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes more.
For The Eggs:
Meanwhile, bring salsa to gentle simmer in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Remove from heat and make four shallow wells in salsa with back of large spoon. Break 1 egg into cup, then carefully pour egg into well in salsa; repeat with remaining eggs. Season each egg with salt and pepper to taste, then cover skillet and place over medium-low heat. Cook until desired doneness: 4 to 5 minutes for runny yolks, 6 to 7 minutes for set yolks.
To Serve:
Place tortillas on serving plates; gently scoop one egg onto each tortilla. Spoon salsa around each egg, covering tortillas, but leaving portion of eggs exposed. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro and serve with lime wedges.
Click here for the technique to make this dish perfectly!

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