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Compliments of Diana Dyer, MS, RD

Dr. Dick's Dynamite Christmas Eggs

This recipe was originally for Huevos Rancheros (or Cowboy Eggs) and adapted from the 1964 edition of Joy of Cooking. Over the years I have learned to make a double batch and changed the salsa ingredients to this recipe, which suits my families tastes quite well. I’ve found the best way to make the dish is to prepare the salsa on Christmas Eve and store it refrigerated overnight. On Christmas morning, I make some coffee, assemble the dish and toss it in the oven so it can bake while we have coffee and open stockings. We then eat eggs and toast for breakfast, and then proceed to the tree to spend the day opening presents and enjoying each other’s company. I have tried store-bought salsa for this recipe but always come back to something home made. This recipe uses pretty mild seasonings, following the philosophy that it is always easy to add more hot sauce, but not so easy to tone down an overly-spiced preparation. Finally, substitution of tofu for the eggs results in an excellent tasting dish that may be more enjoyable for strict vegetarians, who should also use a vegetarian cheese-a-like instead of milk-derived cheese.

  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 5-8 crushed garlic cloves
  • 4 coarsely chopped medium sweet onions
  • 6 coarsely chopped medium bell peppers (I use equal numbers of red, green and orange)
  • 2 pints canned organic tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp powdered cumin
  • 1 tsp dried parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 16 fresh eggs (or a combination with 1x1x2” chunks of firm tofu that total 16)

This recipe works best when the vegetables are chopped before you start cooking.

Heat the olive oil in a 6-quart pot. Sautee the crushed garlic for about 5minutes; I use a garlic press and just squeeze the garlic right into the hot oil. Add the onions and continue the sauté until the onions are clarified. Note, you want to avoid collecting moisture in the pot, so adjust the heat and or the pot size to be sure water released from the vegetables is rapidly evaporated. Add the peppers and continue the sauté until the peppers are softened. Add the tomatoes and all of the remaining dry ingredients. Mix well and simmer until thick and well blended, about 45 minutes. Taste and correct the seasoning with salt, ground black pepper, chili powder, garlic powder or additional herbs, as appropriate. Remove from stove, cover and let cool before storing cold overnight.

To cook, preheat an oven to 350. Coat the surface of two glass or ceramic 7x12” baking pans with olive oil. Put the salsa to even depths into the pans. You can try to make little wells in the salsa for the eggs but this never works too well for me. Crack the eggs individually and place 8 on top of the salsa in each pan. One pan with eggs and another with tofu works well. Garnish with grated cheese of your choice and bake until the eggs are set, about 45 minutes. Great with toast and orange juice or segments of navel oranges from the stockings.