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1  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Huevos Rancheros for Cinco de Mayo on: May 03, 2010 11:43:03 AM
Cinco de Mayo is coming soon and Im getting excited! I live in New Mexico so when any Mexican holidays come around I look forward not to the fiestas, but to the great food sales. Green chile, queso fresco, and good tortillas all on sale, waiting for me to devour them. Here is a recipe I just devised for a full vegetarian meal of heuvos rancheros, Mexican rice and beans. This is all super simple if you have slow cooker and a rice cooker, if not itll be OK. The recipe looks long, but its soooo easy. Once you get the beans out the way, it takes about 30 minutes of cook time.

First and foremost you need to go out and get your supplies. I suggest going to any grocery stores that specialize in Hispanic foods. You can find a great selection of cheese, fresh chiles and tortillas. This recipe serves two with some leftover rice and beans.

2-4 Corn tortillas (find the kind with only 3 ingredients: corn, water and lime)
4 Eggs
Spray canola or olive oil
2 tomatoes diced
6 Anaheim/hatch/big Jim chile roasted, peeled and chopped(this site has great roasting instructions as well as pictures of the chiles themselves: http://www.zianet.com/focus/chile/chile2.htm) If you cant find them fresh, get them canned, one average sized can (i.e., the size of a can of beans) should be good.
1/2 small onion, diced and then separated in two piles
6 cloves garlic, chopped and then separated in two piles
cup white rice
cup pureed tomato
1 cup water
Pinch cumin and chile powder
1 cup dried pinto beans
Your favorite Mexican food cheese (I used queso fresco, but cheddar or Monterrey Jack is nice)
Your favorite salsa (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

The night before you plan to eat the huevos, grab the pinto beans, check them for rocks and rinse them off. Then cover them in water and let them soak overnight in 3 cups water. The next morning if you have a slow cooker, rinse the beans off and dump them in the slow cooker and cover them with plenty of water. Set cooker to high. If you dont have a slow cooker, place beans in a pot and cover them with water one inch higher than the beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 3-4 hours checking to make sure the beans still have plenty of water. (Or you can just buy a can.) Beans can be made in advance and then chucked in the fridge or freezer with their cooking liquid. Before serving, just sprinkle some salt on top and call it love.

Once youve got the frijoles out of the way, start on the rice. Spray the bottom of a non stick pan with a quick shot of oil. Heat to med-hi and add the dry rice. Cook stirring frequently until rice starts to brown. This will give the rice a nice flavor. Now add one of the piles of garlic, one pile of the onion, the cumin and chile powder and cook a minute or two more. Add the pureed tomatoes and cook until the juices have all been absorbed/evaporated. If you have a rice cooker just dump the mixture in the cooker with the 1 cup water. If you dont, add 1 cup water into the pot, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and let cook for 20 minutes. When rice is done, add salt to taste.

Now comes time for the salsa ranchero which gives the huevos rancheros its name. Spray the bottom of a pot with a shot of oil. Add the last of the onions and garlic and cook until fragrant. (At this point I deglazed the bottom of the pot with Tecate, you can do the same or leave as is.) Now add the green chile and about cup water. Let it simmer for 5 minutes. Now add the tomatoes and a couple spoonfuls of your favorite salsa. Add salt to taste. Let cook a few minutes more as you cook your eggs however you like.

Now to plate! Place 1-2 corn tortillas on each plate. Top the tortillas with 2 eggs each. Top the eggs with the ranchero salsa and some shredded or crumbled cheese. Scoop out the rice and beans on the side. Serve with avocado, lime, cilantro, cerveza, and anything else you desire.

This recipe makes waaay more sauce than is in my pictures. These are of the leftovers I had for lunch the day after.

Eat and enjoy!


2  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Help! Advice on Cooking Tofu on: August 24, 2009 08:37:14 AM
I LOVE tofu and currently in an attempt to reduce my meat consumption I've bought a big beautiful package of extra firm to stir fry with. I watched an online video on how to saute it before stir frying it, but when I try it I get spattered with oil every time. I've tried varying the heat and the amount of oil, but I still end up having to wear protective gear while at the stove.

Is there a better way to get my tofu the same consistency like at restaurants? Can I bake it/broil it and have it turn out right?  I've got a beautiful bunch of peppers and all the ingredients for a good red Thai curry, so any advice would  be greatly appreciated!
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