First off, for those of you that don’t know, I’m Canadian. Why do I bring it up? Well, because Canadians know nothing about Mexican food. It’s true. In my 33 years, I’ve only eating at one good authentic Mexican restaurant in Canada. It was a one woman show in Peace River, Alberta. Maria was a Mexican lady who cooked like a demon. Other than that, it’s either been ok food or good, but definitely not authentic. Good tortillas are almost non-existent and if you can find some homemade ones for sale, there about 5 bucks for a dozen! Hello, it’s made from corn flour not pixie dust! They are so hard to find in fact that most dinners that serve a Huevos Rancheros serve it with tortilla chips instead. I bought a small package of corn tortillas at the store (you can see them in the picture, but they were NOT good. A waste of calories in my opinion. I like beans enough that I would just eat it as is anyway.
Tortillas in Canada are nothing like the ones we get when we spend time in San Diego. They’re so much better in fact that we typically bring back a couple hundred corn and flour tortillas and freeze them. We almost always get our luggage checked (not sure why) and I can just picture the look of the custom agents face as they rummage through my suitcase only to find a couple HUNDRED tortillas! hehehe.
So why would I write about something I know nothing about? Well, my husband really loves Mexican. Also, in an attempt to eat more legumes and beans, we’ve been sourcing out some yummy recipes and this one is a favorite. This recipe is from Food and Wine. From the amount of people that have posted about it, I can tell it’s a popular one so I figured, why the heck not?
We also happened to have a can of chilis in adobo sauce. The reason this might be significant is that it’s literally the only canned product I have in the house at the moment and I happened to stumble across it a couple of weeks ago. It’s also not a product you’d find easily in our neck of the woods and have no idea how it even came to be in our house. I guess my subconscious was clearly looking for a way to use it up!
Another case and point on how Mexican food is rare is that there are only 2 places in town that actually carry Mexican cheese. I had no intentions of driving around town to source some, so I used Amber Ale cheese, but use what you have.
Why white beans? Well, true to form, we cook up large batches of food, to make whole food meals easier and less time consuming. This time I had a whole butt load of white beans to figure out how to use. Feel free to use what ever kind of bean you might have kicking around. I made some changes to the recipe but very few. The link above will get you the original recipe. If I were to do it again, I would double the the entire recipe. My husband and I polished off the beans no problem and the salsa was so yummy I wish I had made more for other things during the week.
The original recipe calls for 12 eggs (2 eggs per person) but based on the amount of beans the recipe makes I doubt it would feed 6 people or maybe we’re just piggies. I think the recipe would more aptly feed 4. I also used bacon instead of ham and reduced the amount of oil required by 5 Tbsp to account for the bacon fat.
For the Salsa
- 2 Tbsp oil or fat of choice
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- 3 chilis in adobo sauce
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1/2 tsp salt
For the Beans
- 5 strips bacon
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 3 cups beans
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 tortillas
- 8 eggs
- 1/2 cup Mexican cheese, cheddar, crumbled or grated, or cheese of choice (optional)
- sour cream (optional)
For the salsa: In a sauce pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook for 5 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Meanwhile, finely chop the 3 chilis in the adobo sauce. Add the tomatoes and the chilis to the onions. Reduce the heat to low and cook the salsa mixture for approximately 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cook until the tomatoes become soft but still chunky. Season the salsa with the lime juice, cilantro and salt.
Preheat oven to 375F and set oven rack on the highest level.
For the beans: Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. While the pan is heating up, chop 5 strips of bacon in 1 inch pieces. Fry up the bacon pieces until the bacon starts to become golden. Add the diced onion to the bacon. Cook the onions for 3 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the cumin, beans and 1/2 cup of water. Mash the beans until the mixture is hot and the flavors have combined. If more water is required, add the remaining 1/4 cup of water. Remove the beans from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
To put the meal together: In 4 oven proof dishes, place a quarter of the bean mixture in each dish. Make a well in the center of the beans. Crack 2 eggs in each well (we only had 1 egg each, but do what you think will satiate you). Place the beans and eggs in the oven on the top rack for 5 minutes. Change the oven setting to broil and broil for 2-3 minutes or until eggs are cooked to your liking. Remove from oven and serve with crumbled or grated cheese, sour cream (optional) and warm salsa.