I love Mexican food for being hearty, spicy and satisfying. In many ways it is very close to our South Asian palates, cooking methods and eating habits. Mexicans eat their main meal in the middle of the day around 3pm, called Comida. Since most people start the day early with a simple breakfast, they are ready for something more substantial by 11am. Huevos Rancheros or Ranch eggs belong in this category of Almuerzo, which is more brunch than breakfast.

There are many variations of Eggs Rancheros. Traditionally it is made with several days old corn tortillas, which are cut into strips and deep fried till golden and crisp. The eggs are either cooked into a soft scramble with tomato chilli salsa or fried with runny yolks and served over crispy tortillas and salsa. Some variations add cooked beans or avocado to the platter as well, some serve with guacamole and cream cheese.

Giving it a modern, prepare ahead and quick twist, I decided to bake the whole thing in a casserole with all the traditional ingredients included. In my Spicy Mexican Egg Casserole, I can cook the tomato chilli salsa with beans a day ahead and assemble the dish in a casserole to bake for 12-15 minutes right before I need to serve. This way it makes it a very easy and impressive dish even if you have a large gathering of friends and family for brunch.
All you need to do is multiply the recipe ingredients as required.

Baking the tortillas make them crispy without deep frying. You can use any of your favourite beans to add to the casserole. I had red beans available in my pantry so I went for them. Beans give the whole dish a meaty bite and load up on proteins too.
With mostly good fats in there, the dish is a healthy, filling and delicious brunch that
will set you up for the day. Eggs with runny yolks, served over crispy tortillas and smothered in melted cheese and cooked tomato chilli salsa…now that’s what I call a weekend brunch!


4 corn or flour tortillas, halved
4 eggs
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
3 tomatoes, skins removed,diced
2 cups cooked red or black beans
2 green chilli peppers,deseeded
2 chipotle chillies or dry red chilli peppers
1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1/2 cup cheddar cheese
Fresh cilantro or coriander for garnishing

This Is What You Do:

Prepare all the ingredients and keep them handy because it’s a quick cook.
Peel and chop onions, garlic and tomatoes.

Remove seeds and chop green and chipotle chillies. If you don’t have chipotle chillies, toast dry red chillies on a skillet till they have a smokey flavour.

Preheat oven at 200 degrees C.

Heat a little olive oil in a deep frying pan. Sauté onions till they are translucent not golden. Add garlic, chopped chillies and tomatoes. Stir in salt, pepper and cumin for seasoning.

Reduce heat and allow to simmer till tomatoes are soft, almost 5 minutes.

Add cooked beans. Cook another 2 minutes. Set aside.

Lightly grease a casserole dish or any oven proof deep dish.

Line the sides of the dish with tortillas, over lapping them and leaving them raised above the edge of the dish to crisp up in the oven.

Pour the tomato and bean mix into the bowl. Make four little wells for the eggs.

Break eggs, one at a time in a custard bowl, and slip it nicely into a hollow in the tomato bean mix without breaking the yolk. Repeat with other eggs.

Top it with shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for 12-15 minutes or till the egg whites are set, cheese is all melted and the yolks are still soft and runny.

Garnish with red chilli flakes and coriander. Serve hot.

Tip: If you are in a hurry, you can set the dish with tortillas and tomato bean mix ahead. Before serving, fry eggs in a pan, place in the dish, top with cheese and microwave for 1-2 minute to allow the cheese to melt or pop the dish under a broiler for 2-3 minutes.

Serves 2

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