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California Style Huevos Rancheros

1 tb Olive oil
1/2 Medium-size onion, chopped
3/4 c Tomato juice, OR 1/2 cup tomato sauce thinned with 2 tbsp water
1 sm Clove garlic, minced
3 Whole chiles, parched, peeled and chopped, OR 4 oz canned whole green chiles, chopped
3/4 ts Ground cumin
1/4 ts Ground Mexican oregano
1/2 ts Salt
4 Corn tortillas
4 To 8 eggs
2 Avocados, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
1/2 c Grated Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
4 Lettuce leaves, coarsely chopped


...Serve fresh fruit, warm wheat-flour tortillas, sweet butter, honey and coffee for a great brunch.

1. In a medium-size saucepan, heat the oil, add the chopped onion, and fry over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add tomato juice, garlic, chiles, herbs, and salt. Reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes. Sauce can be made a day or hours ahead of time and left at this point.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Warm the tortillas by wrapping in foil and placing on the 4 serving plates (Mexican pottery if possible) in the warm oven. At the same time, warm the extra tortillas you are serving as bread.

3. Poach the eggs, using an egg poacher or a frying pan of hot water with 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 teaspoon salt added. First break an egg into a cup, then stir the water in the frying pan vigorously in a circular motion. As you stir, slide the egg from the cup into the water. Cover the pan when all eggs have been added.

4. To assemble the dish, place a tortilla on a plate. Top with a circle of avocado slices, then arrange a drained poached egg (or 2 eggs) on top, spoon sauce over, and sprinkle with cheese. Place in the oven until cheese melts. Add the lettuce garnish after the cheese has melted.

Variation: Instead of the tortillas, rinse large "cupped" iceberg lettuce leaves and serve the eggs topped with sauce in the lettuce leaves.

Makes 4 servings.


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