Here’s one of the many things I love about my little blog…one thing leads to another and I end up getting ideas and recipes from the most unexpected places. Take this little number, for example. Where would you expect something that has the words “jalapeno, huevos, rancheros” and “tortilla” to come from? Someplace south of the border, right? Someplace warm and sunny?
Someplace like this?
If you guessed tropical, sultry Vermont, you would be right. I wish I had a picture of it with a little more snow…this is actually what our cabin view will look like in the spring when things thaw out a little…but you get my drift. So here’s what happened….I was singing the praises of Cabot cheddar recently in my post on Butternut Cheddar Soup. That particular recipe came from an ad for the wonderful Vermont Cabot cheddar, and the great folks at Cabot liked my post. They sent me a groovy package of stuff, including a recipe booklet full of things that you can make with Vermont cheese and Vermont sour cream and Vermont butter…including a recipe for Huevos Rancheros. Vermont style. Which means you need to use Cabot sour cream, and Cabot pepper jack cheese.
So before we get to this seriously wonderful recipe, just a little bit about Cabot. They are a farm family-owned dairy coop located in Cabot, Vermont, and they make some of the best cheddar cheese you will taste anywhere. You can find it in most supermarkets, and in wonderful giant hunks at Costco. They also make butter, sour cream, yogurt, and probably some other stuff that I don’t even know about. Check them out here:
Now on to the main event. You take some nice corn tortillas — I used the 6 inch round guys — and soften them up in the microwave for about 10 seconds. Tuck them into whatever nice round oven-safe dishes you have — I have these little Pyrex bowls that are about 4 inches across. Just big enough to put a tortilla into and have it fit with just a little bit of nice curving along the sides. Now drop a good-sized handful of grated Cabot pepper jack in there. Be generous. Pop the tortilla bowls in the oven for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is just a bit crispy.
Meantime you are going to throw together a quick salsa of chopped tomato, chopped red onion, jalapeno, a little honey and some lime juice. Mix up a little cumin with some Cabot sour cream. Poach yourself some eggs. Still with me? Now you are ready for The Assembly.
1. Drop a good dollop of cumin sour cream on the top of the melted cheese inside the tortilla.
2. Line the inner edge of the tortilla shell with sprouts. (Now, I am of two minds about the sprouts. They certainly tasted fine, and they made a lovely contribution to the picture. But I did roam around the supermarket for an extra 10 minutes hunting them down, and they are a little pricy for being basically a garnish. Sorry, sprouts. If you want to use some chopped lettuce, feel totally free — it will work out just FINE.)
3. Tenderly lay a poached egg in the center of the shell.
4. Put as much salsa around the egg as you need and want. Put a spoonful on top of the egg for good measure.
That’s it — you are ready to roll. I served these up to the Southern husband with a fork and knife, but we looked at the tortilla cups, looked at each other, looked back at the cups, and picked them up with our hands. It was messy and delicious and fun.
So the next time you are looking for great Mexican recipes? Vermont. Of course.