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Baked Ranchero Eggs with Blistered Pepper Jack Cheese

Baked Ranchero Eggs with Blistered Pepper Jack Cheese

Last weekend, I spent a glorious less than 48 hours in Indianapolis visiting my friend Annie. She had absolutely no idea I was coming to celebrate her birthday, and we made the most of our short time together by staying up late baking her birthday cake, cooking breakfast, staying in our pajamas until late afternoon and attending her insanely awesome birthday party. It was a whirlwind trip, but I seriously had the best time. I got to meet so many people that I felt like I already knew – Annie’s brothers, the hilarious Bobbi + Mike (and their sweet, cuddly dog Murphy), Ryan and Alex and Sonja. I also got to see Shanon, who I met the first time I visited Annie. See what I mean? Amazing.

Baked Ranchero Eggs with Blistered Pepper Jack Cheese
We obviously didn’t have a ton of time to cook together, so we knew we had to pick something awesome. We had both been eyeing this recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbookand decided on it almost immediately, which is a big deal for people like us who normally take forever to decide what to cook. Let’s be real, though, it’s not like it was a hard decision. Eggs and black beans cooked in a spicy tomato sauce, smothered with melted cheese and topped with crispy, freshly made tortilla strips and lime crema. Yeah, like we needed much time to figure out we wanted to make that. This was one of the first recipes Eric picked out of the cookbook, and since I have a habit of making recipes he wants when I’m not home (like these bacon burgers I made last time I visited Annie), I’ve decided I’m making this again this weekend so that he can enjoy it too.

Baked Ranchero Eggs with Blistered Pepper Jack Cheese

Baked Ranchero Eggs with Blistered Pepper Jack Cheese

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6-12 servings

Baked Ranchero Eggs with Blistered Pepper Jack Cheese

Eggs and black beans cooked in a spicy ranchero sauce, smothered with melted pepper jack cheese and topped with lime crema and freshly made tortilla strips.


For the sauce:
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cups (1 28-ounce can) whole tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
Salt and pepper, to taste
1½ cups (1 15-ounce can) black beans, drained and rinsed
For the tortilla strips:
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 small (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into ½-inch wide strips
Coarse salt, to taste
For the eggs:
12 large eggs
1¼ cups freshly shredded pepper jack cheese
1 cup greek yogurt or sour cream (low fat is fine)
2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup minced fresh cilantro


Heat oven to 450º. To make the ranchero sauce, combine the jalapeño, tomatoes, onion and garlic in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the sauce into a 12-inch ovenproof skillet, stir in the black beans and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat but maintain a simmer and continue cooking for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, brush a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Arrange the tortilla strips in a single layer on the baking sheet and brush the tops with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake about 6 minutes, tossing once or twice, until lightly browned and crisp. Set aside. Resist eating them all while cooking the eggs. Not that we had a problem with that.

Once the sauce has thickened slightly, remove the pan from the heat. Carefully crack the eggs over the surface of the sauce, distributing them as evenly as possible. Return the pan to the heat, cover and let simmer gently about 10-12 minutes, until the egg whites are partially but not completely opaque.

While the eggs are cooking, make the crema. Combine the greek yogurt and lime juice in a small bowl and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Heat the broiler. Sprinkle the cheese over the top over the eggs and cook until the cheese is browned and bubbling and the egg whites are opaque, just a few minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, add dollops of the lime crema, crumble on the tortilla strips and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve immediately, passing extra crema on the side.


Barely adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbookby Deb Perelman

  • Warm Vanilla Sugar

    This looks absolutely AWESOME! I’ve already freaked out about it over on Annie’s blog. Mmmmm.

    • Courtney

      It really was awesome! I mean, it was the only thing we cooked together, so you know it had to be good! :)

  • Rachel

    yumm i was craving those this morning…i may have to make them this weekend!