queso fresco & huevos rancheros

NOLAchef-huevos-rancheros-how-to-make-queso-fresco-Mexican-Pop-up-buenos-aires-best-mexicanShe taste better than she looks, PROMISE!!

I’m not really sure if I should call this huevos rancheros because it’s more of a chilaquiles with salsa roja instead of salsa verde AND the tortilla is fried, which I believe isn’t how they roll in México.  

Whatever it is, it’s bursting with flavor.

 So tasty that she was our #1 seller at Mexican Pop-up last week.

This recipe can be a bit time consuming if you’re making everything on your own, as in all fresh ingredients, no cans or labels!  

It’s totally worth it!!  

Make bigger portions and use them throughout the week in different dishes.  

This is what I LOVE about Mexican flavors.  

Keep them handy and get ready to jazz up the simplest dishes.  

Think cilantro-black beans-lime-chilis-avocados, on everything!!  

Mmm these goodies are always in my kitchen.  As well as garlic and a few other kitchen essentials.


NOLAchef-mexican-pop-up-platacones-plantains-buenos-aires-best-mexican-palermo

Before and after plantains at Mexican Night.

Meet the pulled pork patacon with avocado orange sauce.

NOLAchef-mexican-pop-up-platacones-plantains-buenos-aires-best-mexican-palermo

Bueno, the recipe.  

We’ll start with the queso freso since it needs a few hours to come together.  

You wont find an easier recipe.  

Ready?  Take one bag (liter) of milk and pour all of it in a pot except for one cup.  Place that cup to the side and give it a giant squeeze of lemon (2 TBS) or a big splash of vinegar, white or apple cider, and allow it to rest for 5 minutes til it starts to curdle.  

Bring the milk to a boil, add a big pinch of salt, whisk in your curdled milk and continue to cook on low heat.  It’ll begin to separate within a few minutes, this is what you want.  

Once this happens grab a strainer wrapped in cheesecloth (or not) and pour milk through.  

Discard liquid and place strainer (with chunky milk-cheese) in fridge for at least four hours, preferably over night.  

BAM, you just made queso fresco.  Cool, right?!!

My pastry friend is the one responsible for this recipe.  According to her you can also use goats or sheep milk.  Let me know if any of you try that!!  I don’t really like goats cheese, and I’ve never seen goats milk available in Buenos Aires, but I’d like to experiment anyways…

Beans are next since they take some time.  UNLESS you have a pressure cooker (you lucky dog!!) then you can cook them in only 4 minutes if properly soaked.  I repeat, 4 MINUTES.  Pure insanity, I know.  I still can’t fully understand the ‘science/pressure behind it’ but who cares, IT SAVES YOU SO MUCH TIME!!  

If you don’t have a pressure cooker-  soak your black beans overnight, strain and rinse.  

Dice up some onion, jalapeno, and garlic and cook in a bit of oil til aromatic.  Add beans, cover with water, boil, simmer, add some oregano-cumin-bay leaf but wait til the end to season with salt.  

Those bad boys should cook for about 2-4 hours until they’re easily smashable with a spoon.  Cool and store in fridge.

Salsa Roja ::

  • 2-3 ripe roma tomatoes, cored
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • chili (jalapeno, ancho, guajillo, chipotle)
  • sunflower or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • cilantro
  • salt
  • lime

In a saute pan cook tomato, onion, garlic, fresh chili, a splash of oil and cook til tomatoes are nice and charred.  *If using dried chilis, soak them in half a cup of HOT water for 20 minutes, don’t cook them or throw out the soaking liquid.

Transfer tomato mix and chilis to a blender, add the water (use the chili water if using dried!), handful of cilantro, juice of the lime, and a big pinch of salt.  Puree, taste and adjust seasoning-water depending on the heat and thickness you’re looking for.  Set aside.

Huevos Rancheros, NOLAchef style  ::

  • eggs
  • fresh corn tortilla chips
  • salsa roja
  • black beans
  • queso fresco
  • onion, small dice
  • cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • sunflower oil

Grab a medium size saute pan and place over medium fire and allow to heat.  Add a couple handfuls of tortilla chips then a few big spoonfuls of salsa roja.  Don’t drown them, but don’t be cheap.  I’m not a fan of soggy corn chips, a bit of texture is more my style.  Toss the pan a few times and add a cup of black beans (beans only, not juice).

In another pan start to fry your egg and season with salt & pepper.

Transfer chip mix to plate, sprinkle with diced onion and 1-2 spoonfuls of salsa.  Add some chunks of queso fresco, egg and cilantro.  Devour.

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