Thursday, January 27, 2011

Huevos Rancheros and Mexican Red Beans

Sigh.  It is hard to begin a post when you are kind of disappointed with the recipe you are about to write about.  I am talking about the Mexican Red Beans from the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook.  There was nothing wrong with the beans, they just weren't much to write home about, and here I am still writing about it.  First off, it pains me to admit, but I think this cookbook needs to be recipe-proofed a bit more.  I have already burned applesauce, granola, and had to bake cupcakes much longer than the suggested time (more on that later), and this recipe didn't specify how much water needed to be added to the beans while cooking.  Anyways, here is the recipe for Mexican Red Beans, which are part of Clinton Street's Huevos Rancheros recipe (see below).

Here are the ingredients for Mexican Red Beans from the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook, serves 2 1/2 to 3 cups:
-2 cups dried red kidney beans
-1/2 cup chopped Spanish onion
-1 teaspoon chopped garlic
-1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
-1 tablespoon chopped fresh jalapeno pepper
-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-Salt and ground black pepper to taste
-1 bay leaf
-1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
-1 teaspoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
-1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

To begin, soak the beans in 4 cups cold water overnight in the refrigerator.  Drain the beans. *This is where I wonder whether I should have reserved the left over water.

In a large pot, sweat the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeno in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper.
Once vegetables are softened and onions are translucent, add the bay leaf, oregano, cumin, and chipotle.
Add the beans and water to the pot.  *I guessed and added 4 cups of water, but next time I would add just 3 cups of water.  Bring to a simmer and cook on low for 50 minutes.
Add the cilantro and remaining olive oil and cook for another 10 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Now for the Huevos Rancheros!  Overall this recipe is pretty good, but I kind of wish it was saucier, like I could smother it in tomatillo sauce.  I would probably stick to Rick Bayless's recipe over this one.

Ingredients for Huevos Rancheros from the Clinton St. Baking Company Cookbook, serves 2:

-1/2 cup Mexican Red Beans
-Two 10-inch flour tortillas
-1/4 cup jalapeno Jack or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
-1 to 2 medium plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
-1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
-1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
-1 tablespoon canola oil or clarified butter
-4 large eggs
-Pinch of salt and ground black pepper
-1/2 cup Guacamole
-1/4 cup Jalapeno Sour Cream

To begin, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Warm up the beans in a skillet or saucepan over low heat.

Sprinkle each tortilla with 2 tablespoons cheese and heat in a skillet or grill (cheese side up) until the cheese starts to melt and the bottom of the tortilla is lightly browned.  The tortilla will start to bubble on the sides.

While the tortilla is warming, combine the chopped tomatoes, sliced onion, and chopped cilantro to make a rustic salsa.

Heat the oil in a 10-inch oven safe skillet over medium-high heat.  Carefully crack 2 eggs (I just did them all 4 together - no problem), making sure there are no shells and the yolks are intact.  Season the eggs with salt and pepper.  Pour the eggs into the pan and fry them until the outsides are crispy and the whites are set.  Place the pan and eggs into the oven in order to cook the eggs on top till the white parts are no longer clear.  Repeat with remaining two eggs (if you did them separately).
To Serve, top each tortilla with 2 eggs.  Add 2 tablespoons of warmed beans, 2 tablespoons of the salsa, 1/4 cup guacamole, and 2 tablespoons Jalapeno Sour Cream.  Serve open-faced.

Click here to check out my first blog post - Chili!

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