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BRUNCH LIFE: Huevos Rancheros




Brunch is all about satisfying a craving. You look at a menu and ask yourself, which dish completes me? Is it something for your sweet tooth? A deep-fried option? Spice? Or even something as simple as a few runny eggs? Sometimes you get a dish that checks off several boxes, and for me that’s always huevos rancheros. My version is hearty and saucy, and it’s got spice and runny eggs. If you want to cool it down a bit, add more sour cream and queso fresco, or use only half of the green chili pepper. You can serve it vegetarian, like I do here, or feel free to add whatever toppings you see fit, like seafood (mmmm, shrimp), more guacamole, extra jalapenos, refried black beans, hard chips, or salsa verde.


Salsa

1 tbsp (15 ml) canola oil

3 shallots, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 sweet red pepper, cut into ¼ inch (5 mm) slices

1 large green chili pepper, diced (use half if you do not like spice)

½ cup (125 ml) water

4 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 tbsp (15 ml) chipotle chili powder

1 tsp (5 ml) salt

¼ tsp (1 ml) black pepper

2 tsp (10 ml) unsalted butter, divided

1 cup (250 ml) canned black beans, drained and rinsed

For serving

2 tbsps (30 ml) canola oil

4 large eggs

4 small (6-inch/15 cm) corn tortillas

3 tbsps (45 ml) crumbled queso fresco (or any soft fresh cheese)

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped cilantro

2 tsps (10 ml) sour cream (double this if you do not like spice)

Salsa gone all ranchero

Heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, or until they become translucent. Add the red pepper and green chili pepper and continue sautéing for another 3 minutes. Add the water, tomatoes, chili powder, salt and black pepper; stir to combine. Turn the heat down to medium, add 1 tsp (5 ml) butter, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat down to low, add the black beans and the remaining 1 tsp (5 ml) butter, stir thoroughly, then remove from the heat and keep warm.

And now the huevos

In a medium frying pan, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat. Crack the eggs into the pan and turn the heat down to medium. Cook the eggs sunny side up for about 5 minutes. At the same time, heat a lage frying pan over high heat and lightly toast the tortillas on both sides.

Now make those simple eggs dance

To assemble, arrange the tortillas on plates and top each with 1 sunny-side-up egg. Spoon the salsa around the eggs and over the tortilla. Garnish with crumbled queso fresco, cilantro, and a drizzle of sour cream.

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Matt Basile

MEET THE CHEF

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Chef Matt Basile is the founder of the Toronto-based street food brand, Fidel Gastro's, which, within four years, went from an underground sandwich pop-up to an internationally recognized food brand. Now almost a decade later, Matt has a still growing business of food experiences, restaurant consulting and new and exciting foodie-filled projects on the way. Matt always strives to be different in an industry steeped in tradition. Matt is also the author of the best-selling cookbooks Street Food Diaries and Brunch Life, and was the host of the travel food show Rebel Without a Kitchen for two seasons. More here!

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