Ingredients to serve 2
3 shallots/1 onion (red or yellow makes little difference) finely chopped
Half a red chilli finely sliced (if you're a fire-eater use a whole one)
One 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sweet pimenton or smoky paprika
A handful of fresh coriander
4 tortillas - should be corn ones but these are like hen's teeth in France so flour tortillas will do
4 large free range eggs
A large knob of butter
Start by making the tomato salsa by soft frying the shallots over a medium heat in a pan with the lid on in about a tablespoon of olive oil with a pinch of salt. After 5-10 minutes add the chilli and continue to fry for a further 2-3 minutes or until the shallots are translucent and turning a light golden colour. Add the pimenton and stir in. Let this fry for a further minute, stirring constantly so it doesn't stick. Add the tomatoes and stir in to mix through. Bring to a boil, put a lid on and allow to cook for about 5 minutes until the tomatoes have softened and everything has gone "kind of jammy". Season with salt and pepper, turn to a simmer and allow to cook slowly while you make the rest.
In order to avoid excess washing up (which, as Louise often reminds me, is The Worst Job In The World) just use the same frying pan for the rest. Heat the pan without oil on a highish heat and then proceed to toast the tortillas individually. They should start to puff up and blacken slightly - be careful not to go too far or they may end up a bit crispy and you'll just have a plate of tortilla chips instead. Keep them to one side under foil to keep warm (or if you are luckier than us and have an actual oven pop them in there to keep warm).
Now you have to fry your eggs. Most of us know how to do this but I do have my own favourite method so here it is. Using the same frying pan melt the butter along with half a tablespoon of olive oil (stops the butter burning) and then fry the eggs over medium heat, basting as you go to give a nice buttery flavour. Turn up the heat to high for the last thirty seconds to give a nice crispy edge to them while keeping the yolks soft and runny.
Chop the coriander and add 2/3 to the salsa, saving the rest for garnish.
Then all you need to do is combine it all on a plate. Tortillas first, then tomato salsa with the eggs last, piled on top. Sprinkle the remaining coriander on the top and serve hot with a big mug of black coffee.
NB - I'm sure any of our friends who've actually experienced authentic huevos rancheros will argue with some of what goes in this and I'm not going to stop them! This is in no way an authentic take on the dish and doesn't even include the refried beans. It's just something I found in a magazine while at uni and have made a fair few times over the years and adapted to my own tastes. Works a treat though!