Saturday, March 8, 2008

March 8: Huevos Rancheros with Spicy Ham

Here's a recipe. It's for huevos rancheros. I would tell you more about it, except that I am exhausted and need to crash for the night. I had this dish last year in San Diego, and like almost everything else I ate there, it was delicious. If I weren't on a ridiculous diet, one where I've cut my calories down to almost half of what I was on before I was on a ridiculous diet, I'd go to my kitchen right now and cook this dish, because I am so hungry I could cry. Ironic, isn't it?

Huevos Rancheros with Spicy Ham

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
10 ounces smoked ham, cut into 2-by-1/4-inch strips
4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
2 Scotch bonnet chiles or jalapeƱos—halved, seeded and thinly sliced crosswise
1 large green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Eight 6-inch corn tortillas
8 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 475°. In a large skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Add the smoked ham and cook over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ham to a plate. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil to the skillet along with the garlic, onions, Scotch bonnet chiles and green bell pepper. Cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 12 minutes. Stir in the paprika and cook over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook until they release their juices, about 2 minutes. Stir in the ham and season the sofrito with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and warm them in the oven. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Crack 4 of the eggs into the skillet, season with salt and pepper and fry sunny-side up over moderate heat, until the egg whites are set and the egg yolks are still slightly runny, about 3 minutes. Transfer the eggs, yolk side up, to a plate and keep them warm by tenting them with aluminum foil. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the skillet and fry the remaining eggs.

Set 2 tortillas on each plate. Top with the fried eggs, spoon the sofrito on the side and serve.

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