Monday, June 6, 2016

How I do Huevos Rancheros



Last 6 months -- egg prices peaked in February and have been steadily dropping since, as you may have found at stores in your area. Across the US, retail and restaurant demand is light to moderate, whereas supplies are moderate, presently (USDA Egg Market News Report).

What this means for the consumer is right now, eggs are very affordable for most parts of the US. Kris mentioned buying eggs for 49 cents per dozen at Aldi's last week. I bought a case of 15 dozen at Cash & Carry for 57 cents per dozen. (Cash & Carry's price for 1 dozen extra large eggs, in individual cartons was 99 cents on Friday, which is a great price for eggs, as it is.)

So, as eggs are now the "cheap" animal protein source, I plan on featuring them heavily in dinner menus for the next 2 months. (I still have my frozen supply of eggs to use in the fall and winter months.) We'll be substituting egg dishes for meat-based ones, once or twice per week. (Having eggs for dinner is only a cost savings if we substitute eggs for a more expensive meal, like meat.)

If I use 9 large eggs (that's 18 ounces, or a little over 1 lb. of eggs), bought at 57 cents per dozen, there's enough animal protein for dinner for 5 of us, at a cost of about 43 cents. Compared to making a Mexican dinner with ground beef, at a cost of $2 per pound for the beef, eggs come out the winner for a budget meal.

Over the next couple of weeks, I thought I'd share some of our family's favorite ways to serve eggs for dinner, beginning with my version of Huevos Rancheros.


This is one of those super quick suppers, for busy afternoons and evenings. I can have this ready to bake in the amount of time it takes to preheat the oven.

Technically, this is somewhere between Huevos a la Mexicana and Huevos Rancheros. Real HR uses fried eggs. But I don't care for fried eggs, and my way is less hands-on.

Baked Huevos Rancheros


To serve 4 or 5 adults:

Preheat oven to 365 degrees F.

Generously butter a large quiche dish (a large pie plate will also work).

In a medium bowl, whisk together: 

  • 9 eggs
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon water

Pour into prepared dish. Top with: 

  • a large handful of shredded cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack
Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the edges are very puffy, but center is still indented.

Remove from oven, and spoon over the top:
  • 1 cup of salsa, then
  • another large handful of shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese or Pepper Jack
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of sliced black olives
Return to oven for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted and eggs are set. Be careful not to over-brown the underside.

optional -- sprinkle with chopped cilantro after baked.

Cut into wedges. Use a table knife to go all around the edge. Serve wedges with:

  • warm corn tortillas, and 
  • cooked black beans or refried beans. 


If you cut the wedges slim, you can fold the eggs up in the corn tortillas, like soft tacos. These eggs also make a great filling for breakfast burritos for a crowd. Use flour tortillas, put a slim wedge and some refritos on each tortilla, and roll up. 

(Olives are not at all authentic, here. We just like them. But if you want to leave them out, your privilege.)

12 comments:

  1. Hi Lili,

    I know hubby and I would love this but my family doesn't like eggs for supper in any form. Too bad for them! I have noticed egg prices dropping as well. For a while last year/winter I bought eggs from a local guy that works near me for $2 a dozen when egg prices were crazy high. Just as the egg prices came down, he increased his prices to $2.50 and that is where they have stayed. Unfortunately, farm fresh eggs are probably the best but not something I can afford anymore when prices in the store are as low at 0.79 (give or take). We use eggs for lots of things and so $2.50 is just too hard on the budget. Strangely, my kids love breakfast tortillas and that has plenty of eggs. I noticed that Aldi has the best egg prices around though I don't often shop there.

    Alice

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    1. Hi Alice,
      that's a shame your kids won't eat eggs as a supper dish, when there are so many thrifty meals one can make from eggs. Oh well.

      A year ago, when all egg prices were so high, $2 or even $2.50 per dozen likely didn't sound so high for farm-fresh eggs. This spring, however, it's a different story. I am wondering how long these low egg-prices will hold out. Even if you can't take advantage of the egg bargain for supper dishes, at least you can now bake some of your family's favorite items that use several eggs at a time!

      have a great day!

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  2. Mmm...looks tasty! Will have to give this a try as a different way to have eggs for supper. We are swimming in eggs right now from our six hens and one female duck. In the past, I would give most extras away, but this year, I've been freezing 2-3 dozen every few weeks so that I now have a freezer stash of 12 dozen frozen in baggies of six. We feed organic feed along with occasional scraps and garde greens, so it was a waste to give them away then buy equivalent-quality eggs in winter (and mid-summer, when laying drops off) at $4 a dozen.

    This is Cat in OK--my husband's info comes up if I try to post from this (still having computer issues) so I had to choose the anonymous option.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cat,
      Oh, yes, with 7 layers, that's a lot of eggs in spring, isn't it?! Very wise to be planning ahead for when your hens and duck slow down their laying.

      How's your garden growing this year? Are you harvesting a lot? I understand computer issues. I hope they're not impacting you too much! Take care.

      Delete
    2. Garden is growing great! I have a huge crop of volunteer tomato plants now chest-high on me and with lots of green tomatoes on them. First year ever to have beautiful, lush green bean plants with loads of blooms. Hoping they will set before the coming heat wave. We've had a cooler-than-usual spring for the second year in a row (wetter, too) which has been a nice change. We harvested lots of chard, kale, lettuce, beets, and spinach earlier in the year (and I froze some) and now are just waiting for all the coming goodies: squashes, corn, tomatoes, onions, more chard, beans, watermelon, cucumbers, and so forth. I really think that balancing the soil nutrients has paid off big-time for us.

      Delete
    3. It sounds like your garden is doing great, Cat!

      Delete
  3. Gotta love those inexpensive eggs! :)

    Thanks for the recipe--sounds tasty!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kris,
      I know! I can barely remember prices like these on eggs. What a difference one year makes, right?!

      Delete
  4. In our locale, egg prices are not cheap, still around $1.79/dozen. I buy these at Kmart, since I can use points with discount. I've noticed chicken quarters priced at less than .50/lb so that's an even cheaper source of protein for us. I passed on buying more frozen chicken because we don't have any more freezer space. Too bad. Thank you for the reminder to have some egg based main dishes. I love egg drop in oriental soups, not stirring it in but leaving the egg in tact poached style.

    YHF

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    1. Hi YHF,
      Adding an egg to any broth-based soup is a great way to boost the protein, without much extra work. I do that with chicken broth and vegetable soups. Although, I stir the egg.

      I'm waiting to see if there are any great chicken leg quarter deals this summer. They're currently about 59 cents/lb, here, in a 40-lb case.

      Too bad you aren't seeing the low egg prices that parts of the mainland are seeing.

      Delete
  5. Eggs are holding steady for $0.95/doz at Aldi's--much better than last year. I am also doing a few more egg meals these days.

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    Replies
    1. Hi live and learn,
      oh yes, what a difference one year makes! As you and Ward are empty-nesters, I'd think eggs would make a lot of sense. It's hard for me to get excited about cooking big meals when it's just myself, or just me and one other person. Eggs are conveniently "packaged". I'm glad Aldi's is offering eggs at a decent price for your area! I know a lot of dairy-case items are more where you live, compared to other parts of the US.

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