Huevos Rancheros

By Emmanuel Corona

In Emmanuel Corona’s life, three places are particularly meaningful – Mexico City, where he was born; San Luis Potosi, where he lived for part of his childhood; and Milwaukee, where he took much of what he learned in Mexico and built a culinary career and home. Some of his first food memories are of watching his grandmother and mother cook. Many of the dishes Corona has on his menu now at La Dama are ones they raised children on. “They would make mole, mole paste for the whole week and those [ayocotes] beans [an heirloom variety that originated in central Mexico] that I use over here, too. Those are, like, really typical” of the places where he grew up. In their tiny kitchen, young Corona watched these women work. His grandma made blood sausage by hand. They both made masa cakes steamed in corn husks (tamales), and the egg, ham, tortilla dish eaten often at breakfast [huevos rancheros]. The family would push carts of their homemade tamales around Mexico City, selling the savory handheld meals. When they moved to San Luis Potosi, Corona’s mother’s hometown, Corona had his first taste of enchiladas potosinas, which look more like empanadas, and fell in love. Huevos rancheros is the very first thing Corona learned how to make. His mother taught him because it was an easy, delicious dish to keep him and his brothers fed when she wasn’t home. It is home. It is childhood. In the same way, Corona’s enchiladas potosinas – guajillo chile paste-seasoned masa topped with potatoes, queso, crisp lettuce and a green sauce – is a memory that’s now sprouted in his adopted hometown. Corona’s hands repeat the motions his mother’s fingers performed back home in Mexico – making the chile paste and mixing it into the masa dough, kneading, forming balls and cooking them in the comal (griddle). “She still makes them on Saturdays and sells them,” he says of the dish named after the city where it was born. “That dish means a lot to me. Every chance I get, I make them for myself and for my kids.


Serves 2

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove

1 tablespoon, minced onion 

1 cup cooked beans

3 medium Roma tomatoes

2 serrano peppers

1/4 onion

2 garlic cloves

2 tablespoons oil

2 eggs

2 corn tortillas

2 slices of ham (from any favorite baked ham)



Step 1 – Prepare Refried Beans

Heat up olive oil in a sauté pan and cook garlic clove and minced onion until soft.

Remove solids and add beans to the hot oil. Refry for three minutes – mash them while cooking! Set aside.


Step 2 – Prepare Salsa Tatemada

Char vegetables in the comal (a flat griddle), then transfer to a molcajete or a mortar.

Smash it until it turns into a chunky substance. Set aside.


Step 3 – Prepare Eggs, Tortillas and Ham

Heat up 2 tablespoons olive oil in a sauté pan. Cook eggs sunny-side up. Remove eggs and set aside. Add tortillas to the pan. Heat them until soft. Remove from pan and set aside. Add slice of ham to the pan. Cook until lightly brown on each side. Remove ham from pan and set aside.


Step 4 – Plating for 2 Servings

Place one tortilla at the center of a dinner plate. Spread a thin layer of refried beans on top, then add one slice of ham and one of the sunny-side-up eggs. Finish it off with a generous spoonful of salsa tatemada. Repeat the process on the second plate. Serve and enjoy!


Emmanuel Corona had been a longtime chef and colleague with Crazy Water for 20 years when he was asked about exploring a Mexican concept in the old Crazy Water space. Originally a resident of Puebla and Mexico City, Corona garnered his culinary skills from various sources. His first introduction to the food world took place at a very young age, watching his grandmother and mother cook. It was in those years that he learned the art of making mole poblano and mole negro, among other traditional favorites from the area. Corona and Peggy Magister began working together at her first restaurant in Cedarburg, The Fork Café. After five years, he followed her to Crazy Water, where he slowly incorporated many of his Mexican flavors into the Crazy Water menu. After 20 years, he and Peggy worked together to create La Dama Mexican Kitchen and Bar, where he is now the head chef and owner.

Emmanuel Corona

La Dama Mexican Kitchen and Bar

Emmanuel Corona

La Dama Mexican Kitchen and Bar

About La Dama Mexican Kitchen and Bar