Huevos rancheros recipe
This huevos rancheros recipe is quick and easy to make. It uses pinto beans, red peppers and spices and the eggs are cracked into the pot to cook just before serving. For more recipe ideas for Mexican food, see Thomasina Miers’ book Mexican Food Made Simple.
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
1 green chilli, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
400g pinto beans or white beans
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon tomato purée
400g chopped tomatoes
200ml vegetable stock
Heat some oil in a casserole and fry the onion until soft. Add the red pepper and fry for a further couple of minutes before adding the garlic, chilli and spices. Fry for another minute or so to release all the flavours.
Pour in the chopped tomatoes, beans, tomato purée, stock and bring to the boil. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes or so until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Cut the flour tortillas into wedges and fry in a frying pan with a smidgeon of oil until crispy.
Make 4 wells in the mixture and crack an egg into each one. Cover and cook for a further 3-5 minutes until the eggs have set.
Serve with the tortillas.
Preserving tomatoes: canning
One of the problems of canning tomatoes is the length of time needed to reduce the tomatoes and then having to clean the pans afterwards as the tomatoes tend to stick to the bottom. I have therefore developed a method which solved both these problems.
First cut the tomatoes into pieces, removing the central cores. Transfer to a large, wide frying pan or wok and bring to the boil. Heat the tomatoes until they start to release their juice. Strain off the juice using a colander.
Fill clean jars almost to the top with the tomatoes. Meanwhile, reduce the juice until only a few spoonfuls remain and use it to top up the jars. If you find you have some juice left over, you can always empty the juice out of the tomato jars and reduce it further. Put the lids on the jars but don’t tighten too much: it is important for air to escape as the jars are heated in the next step.
Tomatoes in the bain marie
I then heated the filled jars in a bain marie for 15 minutes. I put a trivet on the base of the pan so that the jars were not in direct contact with the heat. Lift out the jars and fully tighten the lids so that the jars will be vacuum sealed once they have cooled
It’s been really exciting having our own bottled tomatoes to enjoy throughout the year until this year’s crop is ready.
Last summer, we used a variety of methods to prepare them before cooking a bain-marie for 15 minutes: boiled tomatoes, concentrated tomato paste, roast tomatoes, smoked roasted tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes.
We’re now busy amassing empty jars for next season’s offerings.
We made a great, really deep shelf with two batons on either side and then planks of wood going all the way back to the far wall. That way, as we take out jars to reuse them, we can take out the planks so that they are easy to get to.