Directly from Deb Perelman’s book, ‘The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook’, much can be prepared in advance (or at the very least, set out on your counter), to make this tasty goodness a regular weeknight meal – enjoy!

Smitten Kitchen’s Baked Ranchero Eggs

Ranchero Sauce

1 jalapeno (taste it, and then use either a portion or the whole thing, depending on your heat preference)

1 can (28 oz/796 mL) whole (or diced) tomatoes, fire-roasted if you can find them

1 medium white onion, chopped

1 to 2 cloves of garlic

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Other

1 can (19 oz/540 mL) black beans, rinsed and drained (optional, but we always add them in)

12 eggs (though we regularly make 9, which is exactly the amount that we eat)

1 1/4 c. grated jack cheese (I’ve also used cheddar)

Tortilla Strips

6 to 8 small corn tortillas, cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch strips (we like matchstick size)

olive oil and salt to taste

Crema

2 T. freshly squeezed lime juice

1 c. crema mexicana OR sour cream

1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro + more for garnish

hot sauce as you wish

Preheat the oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with parchment.  Add all of your ranchero sauce ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth – give this mix a taste for salt and pepper and season accordingly.  Pour into a 12-inch oven proof skillet, add the beans and bring it all to a simmer for about 10 minutes until it has reduced slightly.

While the ranchero sauce and beans are simmering, spread all of your tortilla strips onto your parchment lined baking sheet, brush them with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle all with a titch of salt. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes (this will depend on how thin you’ve sliced them), until they are slightly browned and crispy. Set them aside.  In a separate bowl, stir together the crema ingredients and set this aside as well.

Once your ranchero sauce has thickened slightly, turn off the heat and break the eggs evenly over the surface, distributing them as evenly as possible (much easier with 9 eggs).  Turn the heat back on, cover the skillet and allow the goodness to simmer for about 10 minutes.  The whites should be opaque, but still very jiggly, it may be difficult to tell.  Preheat the broiler, sprinkle everything with the cheese, and then carefully place the skillet under the broiler until the cheese is melted and blistered a little bit (your eggs will for sure be cooked through after this) – this will take 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the height of your skillet…but please watch it closely!

At the point you can either dish is all up into big bowls (I’ve also served the girls’ over rice), and garnish accordingly, or you can add spoonfuls of crema, a scattering of crispy chips and extra cilantro to the skillet to make a beautiful presentation – regardless, serve straight away and remember how hot those eggs are!

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