hostel cookbook: huevos rancheros

We have started joking that in addition to a miles-clocked counter, there should be an ongoing tally of eggs consumed on this trip. For the budget back-packer, there really is no better food-stuff.

In addition to being a great protein source, in the few hostels with frying pans that begrudgingly cling on to their teflon, they're bloody easy to cook. And perhaps, most importantly, in a world where beer takes a worryingly high percentage of our weekly funds, they're cheap. We once bought 30 eggs for 25Q (or £1.90) and survived a little else for several days.

However, despite having sampled and discovered some of the best chilli sauces on the market, simple and quick meals of poached, scrambled or fried eggs can grow a little monotonous. 

So, those looking to spice things up with an eggs-cellent alternative (sorry) should find huevos rancheros high on their list of hostel recipes. 

This low-maintenance and flexible dish is quintessential Mexico, with the key ingredients combining to form the red, white and green of El Tricolor. 


What you need for two heavenly portions:

6 eggs

6 small tortillas (we prefer flour based but local corn tortillas are well worth a try)

1 large avocado

4 large tomatoes

1 small onion

1 small red chilli

2 cloves of garlic

250g frijoles (that's refried beans for those outside of Latin America)

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons of oil


What to do:

Getting everything ready at the same time can take a little bit of effort and require a number of pans and hobs, so it may be best not to attempt this at peak hostel cooking times!

#1 Dice the chilli, tomatoes, garlic and onion and place in pan with oil. Put on low heat and simmer until tomatoes start to breakdown and you create a salsa. Season to taste and transfer from heat.

#2 Place beans in pan and heat slowly, stirring continuously so as not to burn. This should take no longer than a couple of minutes.

#3 Individually heat tortillas through in frying pan, allowing to develop a little colour and a lot more flavour.

#4 Fry your eggs in remaining oil, flipping halfway to personal taste (we prefer dippy eggs so are careful not to over-cook)

#5 Whilst the eggs are cooking, lay out tortillas and top with frijoles.

#6 Arrange the eggs on the tortillas, re-heat your salsa and ladle over everything. 

#7 Garnish with slices of fresh avocado, and if feeling fancy, a sprinkle of coriander.

#8 Enjoy!