Saturday, July 7, 2012

Incredibly Satisfying...Texas Ranch Hand Eggs

I thought that picture was kinda funny!  Living in Texas we are known for our ranches and now with the revived Dallas series, South Fork is making a comeback.  

Sometimes a hearty breakfast is just what you need to keep you going through the day and it can be accomplished without eating bread, toast or biscuits.  This Ranch Hand Breakfast is easy to prepare, takes 20 minutes to prep and 6-8 minutes to finish baking.  I ate this without corn tortillas but you can certainly add them if you feel you need a little more to fill you up.  Just make sure they are pure corn and no flour or lard is added.

I cooked mine in a cast iron skillet and it goes straight from the oven to the table.  There are a few ingredients that I believe gave this recipe great flavor.  One item is using whole cumin seeds.  When you cook with a whole seed and it blooms in the hot oil, it will release its essential oils adding maximum flavor.  The other ingredient I used was Delmonte's Chopped Tomatoes with Green Bell Pepper and Onion.  I love the flavor it adds and has a good base flavor rather than just plain tomatoes.  I also like to use organic black beans, as I believe they have a better flavor and are less mushy than other canned beans.  I rinse them really well because they have a thick juice that is unappealing to me.  

I also recommend using a cheese that is less in fat but adds a little flavor.  I would omit using a cheddar or pepper jack cheese because it adds unnecessary fats that take away from the other ingredients and adds more calories and fats that are not needed.  I used a Queso Fresco which is a crumbly Mexican cheese.  A little goes a long way.  You could use a sheep's milk Pecorino or Parmesan cheese as well. 

Since I usually keep fresh herbs around, I used a fresh Oregano, but you can add dried and it would be fine.  Use what you've got. 

Here is how to make it:

Saute some chopped onions in a skillet over medium high heat with some coconut oil.  Once the onions have become translucent add the whole cumin seeds.  When the seeds hit the oil they will release their essential oils...this is called blooming the spice.  

Add the drained and rinsed Black Beans, Chopped Tomatoes, half of a Chipotle Pepper (if you like it hot, add the whole thing!).  Mix together and turn down the heat to a low simmer.  Add the chopped Oregano and mix in with beans and tomatoes.  Let this simmer on low until the juices reduce by half.  

Once the juice has reduced by half, add some crumbled Queso Fresco Cheese and crack four Eggs on top.  Transfer to a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 6-8 minutes depending on how much you want the yolks cooked.  

That's it!  Garnish with chopped fresh Cilantro and some more crumbled Queso Fresh.  Grab a pot holder and something to put the hot skillet on so it doesn't damage your table and you dig in.  If you don't have a cast iron skillet, no worries, just transfer the cooked tomatoes and beans to a pie pan and then crack the eggs.  It will work just fine!

Texas Ranch Hand Eggs

2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1/2 Cup Onions, Diced
1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
1 Can Delmonte Diced Tomatoes w/Green Pepper and Onions
1 Can Organic Black Beans, Drained and Rinsed 
1/2 Chipolte Pepper
2 Tbsp Fresh Oregano, Chopped
4 Organic Eggs
Queso Fresco (I just broke off a small pieces and crumbled it to my liking)
Fresh Cilantro, Chopped (Garnish)

So hearty, very fulfilling and it will stick with you for a long day until you can grab a late lunch.


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