This is one beautiful bovine, a ruminant of unparalleled sophistication. This is a cow with her own Twitter account, and a presence on Facebook. In short, this is a very happy cow. And do you know why she's so happy. She's happy because it's June!
June, in case you didn't know, is National Dairy Month. What's more, June 3rd is National Egg Day and June 4th is National Cheese Day. I felt compelled to celebrate this unique confluence of food occasions with a new eggy, cheesy, dairylicious recipe.
As I have in the past, I relied on my friends for inspiration. My first thought was of my far-away bestie, the writer Rachel Toor, who lives and works in Spokane, WA. Rachel isn't much for cooking, but she is a foodie of refined and highly specialized preferences, and a particular connoisseur of Huevos Rancheros. In her inimitable fashion, sometime in the last century Rachel renamed the classic egg dish Wavy Rancheroos, and the name has stuck, at least with us, ever since.
After Rachel, my thoughts turned to the very symbol of National Dairy Month, the Cabot Creamery Cow.
As an homage to Rachel's love of the Rancheroos and to my Cow Girl's special month, I created my own variation on the Huevos Rancheros theme. Reader...I give you
WAVY RANCHEROO PIE
First, make the Adobo Salsa, which you can do ahead of time, up to 24 hours before you are going to serve it.
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
2 tbls. Balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. chili powder
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Cook the onions in a bit of olive oil over medium heat until translucent, adding minced garlic halfway through. Add remaining ingredients, including the juice from the tomatoes and a little of the adobo sauce that the chipotle peppers are packed in. Simmer over low heat for 15 - 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce is ready at that point, but can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours if necessary. Heat before serving, either in the microwave or on the stovetop. If you want a more protein-packed sauce, add a can of rinsed black beans as you simmer. This sauce is a versitile topping, and is perfect with grilled chicken or pork.
Then comes the pie:
3 6" flour tortillas, 1 cut in half
1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used Cabot 50% Reduced Fat Jalepeno Cheddar)
1/2 4.5 oz can chopped green chiles
1/8 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat over to 350º. Arrange tortillas in a 10" deep dish pie plate as pictured. In a large bowl beat eggs and milk together, adding chiles and spices. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese on the tortillas. Pour half the egg mixture over the cheese. Add 1/3 more cheese, then the remainder of the egg mixture. Top with the rest of the cheese.
Cook for 30 - 45 minutes, until the tortilla crust is browned and the egg mixture is golden and set.
Let stand for 10 minutes -- it will deflate a bit -- before serving. Heat the Adobo Salsa, cut pie slices and top with the warm sauce.
This dish is the delightful spawn of a French quiche and the classic Mexican breakfast favorite. It's so delicious, with the creamy egg and cheese filling, the light tortilla crust, and the heat and flavor of the salsa. The best thing about it is that it tastes even better if you make it the night before and let it sit in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours before cooking. That makes it a perfect brunch dish. Make it ahead of time and enjoy the party yourself. In addition to the heated salsa, you can garnish the Rancheroos with cool sour cream or guacamole.