Seven Minute Huevos Rancheros

This blog series is called “If I Liked It, Then I Should Have Put A [3] Ring [Binder] On It.” I know, naming blog posts after a 5-year-old Beyonce song makes me a huge loser, but until somebody tells me to cut it out, I’m just going to go with it. The title just means that I try out a lot of recipes from magazines and websites – only the ones I really, really like go into a 3-ring binder to keep for the future and make again.

The next recipe I’m highlighting is a meal I make at least once a month (and sometimes, like, once a week). It’s the fastest dinner in my repertoire that doesn’t involve the words “bowl of cereal.”

Recipe: Real Simple’s Skillet-Poached Huevos Rancheros (click to be taken to the full recipe)

Skillet-Poached Huevos Rancheros - It's cheap. It's vegetarian. It takes 7 minutes to make. It includes runny egg yolks. And it tastes awesome.

Background: Embarrassingly, at one point, I was a Real Simple subscriber. Laugh away, it was a free subscription I got from somewhere. Most months, I flipped right past the numerous “how to organize your basement/garage/linen closet/life” articles and went right to the recipes. And I’m not at all ashamed to say that some of them were pretty great. They published a cranberry sauce recipe that to this day, I still use for Thanksgiving Dinner. And there was also this gem.

Skillet-Poached Huevos Rancheros - It's cheap. It's vegetarian. It takes 7 minutes to make. It includes runny egg yolks. And it tastes awesome.

What I Like: It’s cheap. It’s vegetarian. It takes 7 minutes to make. It includes runny egg yolks. The only dishes involved are one skillet, a cutting board, and a knife. It’s a great meal for 1 or 2 people. And it tastes awesome.

What I Change: I’ve made it about 75 times without making any changes. Sometimes, I’ll add a squeeze of fresh lime juice over the top, but only if I have a lime on hand.

 I’ve found that the best salsa to use for this is jarred (cheapo) salsa, like Chi’s-Chi’s or Pace, preferably the thick & chunky variety. If you try to use fresh refrigerated salsa, there will be a lot of excess liquid, and when you pick up your tortilla to eat, a bunch of salsa water will come out the end. Gross. If you DO need to use fresh salsa, I would recommend that you put it in a fine mesh strainer for about 10 minutes before you use it, to try to get rid of some of the extra liquid.

The recipe as written says it feeds 4, which may be true if you’re making this for brunch. But for dinner, Jeff and I can pretty much polish off the whole recipe, just the two of us (no side dishes needed). Also, I’ve found that you’ll need more than 4 small tortillas (at least 6) to use up all of the bean mixture.

Real Simple says this huevos rancheros takes 15 minutes to make, but I’ve reduced it to 7. Here’s how: Minutes 1 – 3: put the beans and salsa in the skillet and crank the heat up to medium-high. It’ll get hot fast. Minutes 4 – 7: reduce heat to medium, crack your eggs into the bean mixture, season the eggs with salt and pepper, cover with a lid, and cook another 3 to 5 minutes or until the whites are just set and the yolks are still runny. While the eggs cook, chop your green onions and cilantro, put the sour cream on the table, and heat some tortillas in the microwave. Sit down and enjoy the fruits of your 7-minute labor.

Skillet-Poached Huevos Rancheros - It's cheap. It's vegetarian. It takes 7 minutes to make. It includes runny egg yolks. And it tastes awesome.

What recipe have you discovered in a magazine or online that you make again and again? Tell me about it in the comments! 

All entries in the “If I Liked It, Then I Should Have Put A [3] Ring [Binder] On It” Series:

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