Cinco de Mayo is a mainly American celebration of Mexican culture that happens on the 5th of May, and I wish we did it here. What better way to celebrate Mexican heritage than through this delicious cuisine that I love so much.
I dream of travelling to Mexico to eat but thus far have only got as far as the deep south of the USA, but I have been cooking and experimenting with this cuisine for many years, and in a country where it’s not at all mainstream. It’s only about a year ago that chipotle chillis became available in South Africa thanks to Mexicorn.
My favourite Cape Town Mexican restaurant, El Burro, now also sells pickled chipotle chillies and a range of stunning sauces of varying intensities which I love.
This recipe for Huevos Rancheros, which quite frankly is amongst my all-time favourite ways to eat eggs, comes from my cookbook which was published last year.
Huevos Rancheros | serves 4
This traditional Mexican breakfast of fried eggs smothered in cooked salsa and wrapped in a warm flour tortilla is so quick and easy to make. Chipotle chillies aren’t readily available in South Africa, so I substituted them with chopped pickled jalapeños and smoked dried chilli flakes. (If you do manage to find chipotle, use 2T, chopped, in adobo sauce).
For the salsa
- 1T olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 x 410g tin chopped peeled tomatoes
- ½t smoked or plain chilli flakes (according to taste and heat preference)
- 2T chopped pickled jalapeños • ½t cumin • salt
You will also need
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 4 flour tortillas
- 2 spring onions, sliced (optional)
- fresh coriander leaves (optional)
- 1 tomato, chopped (optional)
Heat the olive oil in a pan or small pot and fry the onion until it starts
to soften (about 5 minutes). Add the tinned tomatoes, chilli, jalapeños, cumin and salt and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
While it’s simmering, fry the eggs.
Heat the tortillas in the microwave for about 20 seconds or dry-fry them
on each side in a large nonstick pan until they are heated through.
To assemble, spread some warm salsa over the surface of a tortilla
and top with an egg. Add spring onion, coriander and tomatoes or
any other ingredients of your choice.
Cook’s notes Fillings that go well with huevos rancheros include
crispy bacon, avocado and grated cheese. The leftover salsa is
great as a dip with corn chips or served over nachos.
In my book, I also included my recipe for salad nachos which is really all about adding fresh and crunchy vegetables to your nachos in place of some of the cheese and sour creme to make it even more delicious and healthier.
Then there is also my beer battered fish taco with a spicy chipolte slaw. A crowd pleaser.
And when it comes to Mexican drinks, there is only one word that comes to mind. Tequila. I have developed a taste for good quality tequila, and I sip and appreciate it as I a fine whiskey.
When it comes to drinking it in a cocktail form, my favourite is the Paloma.
I have created a board on Pinterest called ‘Mexican Fiesta’ – so will be pinning recipes that I discover and like there.
Have a fabulous Cinco de Mayo if you are celebrating, and have a taco and or tequila for me.