Making huevos rancheros—rancher's-style eggs—is an inherently impromptu and simple affair at home. Briefly fry some corn tortillas to soften them, add a couple of crisply fried, runny-yolked eggs, and ladle on plenty of salsa. That's it. Everything else is just window-dressing. It's easy for me to think of huevos rancheros as a dish so darn casual that it doesn't even need a recipe. But then I wouldn't be doing my job, now would I? My goal was to come up with a recipe for huevos rancheros with a smoky and wickedly spicy tomato and red chili salsa that requires nothing more than basic supermarket pantry staples. And I wanted it all in under half an hour, because who has time to wait for breakfast?
Breakfast And Brunch
These aren't the easiest oatmeal pancakes, but they're damn good ones. Toasted oats, browned butter, tangy buttermilk, and a texture so light and fluffy it makes butts nervous about keeping their jobs.
Siu mai, the Chinese steamed pork and shrimp dumplings, are one of the most popular items at dim sum parlors. But you don't have to go out just to enjoy them, because they're one of the easiest dumplings to make at home.
I have the bad habit of letting little uneaten nubbins of cheese languish in my fridge until they're so stale there's nothing left to do but throw them out. This cheese pie (really, it's a quiche, if you want to be a stickler about accuracy) is the solution, transforming those once doomed leftover bits and giving them new life as pockets of beautiful melted cheese set in a custard base.
Studded with Chinese sausage, Chinese bacon, and shiitake mushrooms, this steamed (and then, optionally, pan-fried) daikon radish-based snack is a classic at both the Chinese New Year, and also on dim sum tables year-round.
Mexican atole, a hot drink made from corn, comes in a staggering variety of flavors, from sweet to savory, each one more delicious than the next. In this sweet one, the corn-flavored base, made from masa harina, is infused with orange zest for a warming, aromatic beverage that's perfect for winter.
Mexican atole, a hot drink made from corn, comes in a staggering variety of flavors, from sweet to savory, each one more delicious than the next. In this sweet one, the corn-flavored base, made from masa harina, is enriched with the nutty flavor of roasted peanuts for a warming, aromatic beverage that's perfect for winter.
Mexican atole, a hot drink made from corn, comes in a staggering variety of flavors, from sweet to savory, each one more delicious than the next. In this sweet one known as champurrado, the corn-flavored base, made from masa harina, is enriched with dark chocolate and cinnamon for a warming, aromatic beverage that's perfect for winter.
Ful mudammas, stewed fava beans, is a staple dish all over the Levant. Some versions are mild mannered and comforting. This one, loaded with olive oil, lemon, garlic, cumin, and a kick of chili powder, is anything but. Serve it as a bean stew or mash up the beans and use it as a high octane dip.
Hummus is fine, but the real power legume of the Middle East is the fava bean. Ful mudammas is the Egyptian breakfast dish of favas stewed with tahini and seasoned with garlic, cumin, and lemon. This creamy, comforting version is much like what you'll find around the streets of Cairo.
Congee is nothing more than a simple rice porridge, but man can it be comforting! It's an Asian breakfast staple, a dim sum classic, and a blank canvas to add your own flavors. Traditionally white rice is used, but sometimes I like to use brown rice for a heartier, healthier porridge with a subtle nutty flavor. Heartier vegetables such as kale, escarole, shiitakes, leeks, and even Brussels sprouts are perfect in it. One of my favorite combos is this recipe: marinated strips of beef, dried shiitake mushrooms, and garlic chips.
Leftover mashed sweet potatoes are not easy to reheat and serve without turning them too dry or worse, scorching them on the bottom of a pan. Instead of trying, use them as the base for moist, tender, and delicious pancakes for breakfast.
Slices of turkey on top of a crisp stuffing waffle, all covered with a cheesy gravy sauce that gets broiled until browned and bubbly before being topped off with a fried egg. This is the stuff morning-after-Thanksgiving dreams are made of.
Prune's brunch is known as being one of the best in the city, and is worth the two hour wait, even on a chilly, hungover morning. One of the big draws is the Monte Cristo, an outrageous, deep-fried, French-toast/ ham-and-cheese hybrid. Gabrielle Hamilton shares the recipe in her new cookbook, Prune. She builds the triple-decker sandwich on white bread with loads of butter, French ham, Swiss Cheese, and roasted turkey. This gets soaked briefly in eggs and milk and griddled in clarified butter. And THEN deep-fried.
Gabriel Thompson's recipe for Roasted Mushrooms with Bacon and Eggs, from Downtown Italian, written with Katherine Thompson and Joe Campanale, sounds innocent enough, but comes at you guns blazing, all garlicky, salty, and wild.
Using the waffle iron to make hash browns means you get crunchy bits on both sides. You get silky smooth potato inside. And you get all of this without having to flip the potatoes or fuss over them in the pan. You may never make hash browns any other way again.
There are days when you wake up and say, I'm going to painstakingly make the best damn Tex-Mex migas I possibly can. And then there are days when you pry yourself from bed, feel your head swirl and split as you sit up, and remember those last two rounds of shots you got roped into—after you had already had what was supposed to be your last drink. On those days, you need these quick and easy Doritos migas. Actually, you might need these on all days.
After a week and a half in Turkey, this was the one dish that my sister, my wife, and I were consistently craving. Menemen is a dish of eggs scrambled just until barely set, mixed with tomatoes, chilies, and tons of olive oil. I love to eat it with a side of salty cheese, olives, and some good crusty bread.
This breakfast (or lunch, or dinner, or midnight snack) taco from Sara Deseran and Joe Hargrave's new book, Tacolicious, is a spot-on version of the Texan tradition, with strips of roasted poblano peppers, good-sized bites of bacon, and tiny cubes of potatoes cooked with onion in that bacon fat, all scrambled with eggs and just the right amount of cheese.
For years, one of my favorite late night snacks has been a soft-cooked egg which I break into a bowl, drizzle with soy sauce and pepper, stir up, and slurp down as silently as possible in the dim light of the kitchen, trying not to wake my wife. I always thought I was a little weird in loving it so much. But then I found vindication in one of Singapore's staple breakfasts: kaya toast served with soft boiled eggs and strong coffee sweetened with sugar and evaporated milk (the soy sauce and pepper are added at your own discretion).