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Huevos Rancheros


I could eat these huevos rancheros at any time, day or night. They've got every ingredient that I like: vegetables, cheese, eggs and two kinds of chiles.
—Marcia Kiesel, test kitchen supervisor

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  1. 1 ancho chile, stemmed and seeded
  2. 1 cup boiling water
  3. 2 tablespoons pure olive oil plus more for oiling the skillet
  4. 4 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  5. 3 jalapeño chiles
  6. 1 medium sweet onion, halved
  7. 1 pound plum tomatoes
  8. Salt
  9. 1 dozen large eggs
  10. 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons crumbled queso blanco or ricotta salata
  11. 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  1. In a large cast-iron skillet, toast the ancho chile over moderate heat for 1 minute per side. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and add the boiling water. Cover with a plate and let stand for 20 minutes. Remove the ancho and finely chop it; reserve the soaking liquid.
  2. Lightly oil the skillet. Lightly char the garlic, jalapeños and onion over low heat, about 8 minutes; transfer to a plate. Lightly oil the skillet again and char the tomatoes over moderately high heat, about 4 minutes; transfer to a plate. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Peel, stem and seed the jalapeños. Coarsely chop the jalapeños and onion. Peel and coarsely chop the tomatoes.
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic, jalapeños and onion and cook over moderately low heat for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, ancho and reserved soaking liquid and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Season with salt.
  4. Lightly oil the skillet and fry the eggs, sunny-side up, over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Spoon 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce onto each plate and top with 2 eggs. Sprinkle with the crumbled cheese and cilantro and serve.
Serve With
Warmed corn tortillas.