From garden to ranchero

One of my favorite lunches out is huevos rancheros con chorizo from Jose’s here in Greenbrier. The staff is always great, and if there isn’t a drama club field trip scheduled to do lunch for 25 at the same time you arrive, the service is spot on and the food never disappoints.

It had been a while since my hot husband and I had had a lunch date at Jose’s when I decided on Tuesday that it was too cruel for my taste buds, having kept them from that which they desired for so long. I decided “breakfast for dinner it is” and hit up google on the hunt of the next best thing, a recipe for ranchero sauce.

When you hit up google for a good rachero recipe, you quickly find that there are a gazillion of them, fresh tomato, canned tomato, vinegar, no vinegar, heck even Emeril Lagasse has a friggin’ ranchero sauce recipe.

Preferring to be a fly by the seat of my pants/what’s the worst that could happen kinda girl, I decided to just read a few recipes and then just freaking do it. I read Emeril’s, all recipes’, chow hound (maybe?), don’t remember all the ones I read, but my friend google always turns those linkydos purple, so I’ll know them when I see them again.

Started with 15 pounds of home grown tomatoes. Ended with 3 quarts crushed, 2 pints and a quart of juice, and 1 very messy kitchen.

Started with 15 pounds of home grown tomatoes. Ended with 3 quarts crushed, 2 pints and a quart of juice, and 1 very messy kitchen.

The recipes with fresh tomatoes were out of the question. I already had three quarts of beautiful crushed tomatoes needing to take a taste test, so I set a jar aside.

Some recipes called for bell peppers, most for jalepeños and lucky for my taste buds the plants out back were ripe for the pickin’. I picked one large green bell pepper and a couple of fat jalepeños. I then proceeded to gather my ingredients:

  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 2 fat jalepeños, seeded and chopped (this was quite mild, use more if you’d like)
  • 1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 T oregano
  • 2 T cooking oil, I cook with bacon oil, feel free to use olive oil if you so desire.
  • 16 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 t ground chipotle red pepper
  • salt to taste

Heat skillet over medium and add cooking oil. Saute onions, peppers, and garlic until veggies are softish and onions are translucent. Add oregano, crushed tomatoes, ground red pepper, and salt. Simmer for 30 – 45 minutes until sauce is thickened.

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The ranchero sauce was quite nice with some chrorizo and eggs. So nice, that last night I used it to make football shaped mini meatloaves for dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

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6 thoughts on “From garden to ranchero

    • We got lucky and had a great gardener move in next door a few years back. It did take forever to get our first reds, but after that, when we could beat the chickens to them, they turned like mad. There was a lot of dry weather, so watering them every morning helped. I prune the brown/yellow leaves off daily (if any). After that we got a massive week of cold/rain and they aren’t doing so hot anymore. I’ve only got a couple of plants, the bulk of the 15 pounds came from my neighbor and a coworker of his. The secret to having lots of tomatoes is making sure at least a couple friends/family/neighbors have mater plants, that way at least someone will be passing them around.

      (Lots of sun and water, well drained soil is what I do, I don’t fertilize them except with coffee grounds and ashes from the smoker.) Fingers crossed your maters will be red soon!!

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