That would be plenty special enough, but what makes this huevos rancheros recipe memorable is its attention to details. Escabeche is a condiment consisting of carrots, peppers, onions, and chayote—a green Caribbean squash, also known as cho-cho or christophene—fermented in spiced vinegar for a few days. It’s reminiscent of pickled peppers, only way better. The sauce highlights Scotch bonnet, which is arguably the hottest chili pepper in the Caribbean. A sexy, runny, sunny-side egg just gilds the lily.
Note: Allow time for the kidney beans to soak overnight.
Miss Lily’s Jamaican Rancheros
For the red bean stew
4 cups water
⅛ cup unsweetened coconut milk
½ cup light red kidney beans
¼ cup coconut cream
10 fresh thyme sprigs
½ cup small Spanish onion, diced
⅓ cup scallion
1 tablespoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
For the ranchero sauce
½ small yellow onion, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves
1 ripe Scotch bonnet chili (or a few tablespoons prepared Scotch bonnet pepper sauce)
¼ cup grapeseed oil
3 chopped ripe plum tomatoes
Water, as needed
Salt, as needed
4 whole organic extra-large eggs
4 cups stewed peas (see below)
20 plantain chips (see below, but store-bought is fine)
Canola oil, as needed
½ red onion, finely sliced
1 ½ cups ranchero sauce (see below)
10 sprigs cilantro
1 avocado, sliced thin or thick (per your preference)
How to Make It
Make the red bean stew. Soak beans overnight in cold water in a container allowing for three times the volume. Drain and add new water. Add all ingredients to a heavy-bottomed, non-reactive, tall-sided pot. Bring to a simmer and cook very slowly for two hours, until beans are tender. Set aside.
Make the plantains. Preheat 1 gallon of vegetable oil to 320°F in a heavy-bottomed 16-quart pot. Peel very green plantains and slice lengthwise, extremely thin with a mandoline or slicer. Fry until crispy. Transfer to a towel-lined tray and season ASAP.
Make the ranchero sauce. Heat oil in heavy-bottomed pan. Add onion, pepper, garlic, and chili. Sweat until all veggies are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add chopped tomato and cook until tomatoes are broken down and tender. Transfer to blender and process until the mixture has a smooth consistency. Add water to adjust thickness. Season with salt to taste.
Make the eggs. Heat a nonstick pan on medium-high heat. Add oil and crack eggs one at a time. Cook sunny-side up.
To assemble. Take a large serving dish and pour stewed beans on the bottom. Layer plantain chips evenly on top. Spoon ranchero sauce over chips and carefully slide sunny eggs on top. Garnish with sliced avocado, cilantro, and thinly sliced red onion.