Huevos Rancheros

To save time in the morning, make the salsa the day before and store it overnight in the refrigerator. For extra-spicy salsa, add some of the reserved jalapeņo ribs and seeds to taste. If you need to hold the tortillas for a short time, cover the baking sheet with foil. If you like, serve with refried beans (see related recipe).
Serves 2 to 4

3 medium jalapeņo chiles , halved, seeds and ribs removed (see note above)
1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes (about 8 medium), cored and halved
1/2 medium yellow onion , cut into 1/2-inch wedges
2 medium cloves garlic , peeled
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Table salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
Ground black pepper
1 - 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice from 1 or 2 limes, plus additional lime cut into wedges for serving
4 corn tortillas
4 large eggs

See Illustrations Below: Three Steps to Better Huevos Rancheros

1. FOR THE SALSA: Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 375 degrees. Mince one jalapeņo and set aside. In medium bowl, combine tomatoes, remaining jalapeņos, onion, garlic, tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons oil, cumin, and cayenne; toss to mix thoroughly. Place vegetables cut side down on rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tomatoes are tender and skins begin to shrivel and brown, 35 to 45 minutes; cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Increase oven heat to 450 degrees. Using tongs, transfer roasted onions, garlic, and jalapeņos to bowl of food processor. Process until almost completely broken down, about 10 seconds, pausing halfway through to scrape sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Add tomatoes and process until salsa is slightly chunky, about 10 seconds more. Add 2 tablespoons cilantro, reserved minced jalapeņo, salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste.

2. FOR THE TORTILLAS: Brush both sides of each tortilla lightly with remaining tablespoon oil, sprinkle both sides with salt, and place on clean baking sheet. Bake until tops just begin to color, 5 to 7 minutes; flip tortillas and continue to bake until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes more.

3. FOR THE EGGS: Meanwhile, bring salsa to gentle simmer in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Remove from heat and make four shallow wells in salsa with back of large spoon. Break 1 egg into cup, then carefully pour egg into well in salsa; repeat with remaining eggs. Season each egg with salt and pepper to taste, then cover skillet and place over medium-low heat. Cook until desired doneness: 4 to 5 minutes for runny yolks, 6 to 7 minutes for set yolks.

4. TO SERVE: Place tortillas on serving plates; gently scoop one egg onto each tortilla. Spoon salsa around each egg, covering tortillas, but leaving portion of eggs exposed. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Step-by-Step: Three Steps to Better Huevos Rancheros

ROAST: Slow-roasting improved the flavor of supermarket tomatoes while intensifying the other salsa ingredients.

TOAST: Crisping store-bought tortillas in the oven yielded the best texture -- light and crispy, not tough or greasy.

POACH: Poaching the eggs in small wells made in the salsa improved their flavor and left us with just one pot to watch.