I procrastinate about the strangest things- namely, buying things for myself. This is not a budet thing. This is a laziness thing. And it applies to all objects I consume in my life- clothing, body products, household items, you name it (well, except for food- that clearly does not apply). For instance, I have been planning to buy this hat from Emerson Fry for a good month. Four whole weeks, people! What’s stopping me? Hard to say. I should probably stop writing this blog post and just buy it right now, but I won’t. I will get to it… at some point.

So this little annoying scenario? Same thing happened with The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. That thing has been on my to buy list since the darn book came out and I just got around to throwing it in my Amazon cart last week. I’m a good six months late, right? And the worst part is that every single recipe in this book is pure gold. My meals over the last few months would have been far tastier had I only had Deb’s brilliant book in my hands. I have a feeling we’re going to need to re-name Mondays “the day Clara shares her next favorite recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook” day.

First recipe up- these killer Baked Ranchero Eggs. I love this recipe for many reasons. First, it’s approachable. This sentiment really applies to the entire book. One of the things I love and appreciate most about Deb’s recipes is that she has this way of making all her dishes feel incredibly doable. Not all cookbooks do that for me. Does that ever happen to you? I find most Mexican recipes either feel tricky or have a laundry list of ingredients, too daunting to even attempt to tackle. This recipe totally trumps both those concerns.

Second, this dish is awesome for a brunch crowd. You know I love anything with components that can be made ahead, and that can be easily brought together at the last minute before guests arrive. It also keeps really well and it super satisfying is leftovers.

Lastly, homemade tortilla chips. Why in the world have I not made these before?!?! They’s so incredibly easy and truly better than anything I’ve ever had out of a bag. Thanks, Deb, for waking me up to that phenomenon (among other things)!

Here’s to a great week, friends!

Baked Ranchero Eggs with Blistered Jack Cheese and Lime Crema slightly adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Serves 6

Ranchero Sauce:

  • 1 28 oz. can whole fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, roughly chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, crushed and peeled
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • several pinches salt
  • handful of fresh cilantro

Crisp Tortilla Chips:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 small (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into strips
  • salt

Remaining Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded jack cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • juice of 1 lime
  • fresh cilantro

Preheat your oven to 450°.

Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeño, and salt to your blender, and blend until smooth. Pour sauce into a 12 inch skillet and add in black beans. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 10-15 minutes until sauce has slightly reduced.

Meanwhile brush a baking sheet with olive oil. Place the tortilla strips in a single layer- brush with the rest of the olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Baked for 4-6 minutes until crispy and golden brown. Remove from oven and preheat broiler.

Make the crema: In a separate bowl mix together the sour cream, juice of one lime, and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

Once the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat. Crack the eggs individually into the pan, distributing them as evenly as possible. Return to heat, cover pan, and simmer for about 10-12 minutes, until the whites are nearly but not completely opaque. Sprinkle the surface with the cheese and place plan under broiler for 2-3 minutes, just until cheese is blistered and bubbly.

Garnish with dollops of crema, broken pieces of tortilla, and fresh cilantro.

  1. This looks INCREDIBLE. It’d be the perfect night-after-drinking brunch food, I must say haha.

  2. How funny; we are definitely on the same wave lengths this past weekend. Being at the salon, making almost the same dip. I made something similar for a new client I am developing recipes for. We devoured for dinner!

  3. I have been meaning to pick up Deb’s book too - oh, procrastination! You’ve definitely given me a kick of motivation by posting these amazing eggs! They look seriously delicious. Like, serious.

  4. This looks incredible. I am definitely making this.

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