I first tasted huevos rancheros at Hot Spot, a breakfast eaterie in Chicago’s west side Humboldt Park neighborhood. My friend Laura was my breakfast partner that morning, and she was the one who ordered the huevos, and who ended up threatening to slap my wrist when I wanted to keep stealing bites.
Hot Spot serves its huevos rancheros in a cast iron skillet, which is of course, enchanting. They use black beans rather than refried, and top the whole deal with fresh avocado and pico de gallo. If you like, you can have them add some ground chorizo, a spicy Spanish sausage.
I make my huevos rancheros to serve two, and while I don’t put them on the table in a cast iron skillet, I do brown my beans in one. There’s no substitute for good, seasoned cast iron. I make them for dinner more often than breakfast, and have discovered that they’re customizable. Use flour or corn tortillas, whichever you like best. Scramble your eggs, or prepare them over easy. Use whole black beans or refried, cooked salsa or fresh. You can add ground chorizo (the best I’ve found in Grand Rapids is house-made at D&W Fresh Market) or crispy bacon.
4 small corn or flour tortillas
12 ounces black beans, rinsed and drained, or 12 ounces refried beans
4 ounces shredded manchego or monterey jack cheese
1/2 pound ground chorizo
jarred or fresh salsa
fresh avocado or guacamole
Cook the ground chorizo just as you would ground beef, and drain off the fat. Set aside, but keep warm. Warm the beans in a skillet over low heat, stirring often. Meanwhile, prepare the eggs to your taste, and warm the tortillas in a hot skillet or the microwave. While the eggs are piping hot, assemble as follows: arrange two warm tortillas on each plate, overlapping them slightly. Side by side, place a portion of beans, chorizo, and eggs. Sprinkle with cheese, and top with salsa, sour cream, and avocado or guacamole. Serve immediately.