Sunday, October 23, 2011

Black Bean Huevos Rancheros

You may remember from my brief photo recap of our honeymoon that my favorite meal that week was black bean huevos rancheros from this tiny little cafe/coffee shop in McCall. It was a dish that captivated me from first bite with its wonderfully complex mix of flavors... a meal so good that our entire breakfast conversation consisted of me repeatedly groaning at how delicious my food was while Dane grumbled over his overly simple bacon and potatoes. Hey man, sometimes it pays to be adventurous!

Anyway, after we got home from our short vacation, I kept thinking about that meal. It was always there, in the back of my mind, so tempting that I found myself coming up with excuses to go back to McCall just so I could eat there for breakfast again. And then I stumbled upon that amazing black beans recipe I shared just a few days ago, in a lovely little Cuban cookbook Jan & Jerry gave us as a wedding gift. Not only was I excited to try the black beans and rice by itself, but, I'll be honest, I really couldn't wait to see if I could recreate what I now consider to be one of my favorite breakfasts of all time.

And well, not to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I did pretty gooood. Not that it was necessarily that hard, but hey, how often do we get it right on the first time? Crispy corn tortilla, creamy, savory black beans, melty tart cheese, spicy green salsa, all topped with a poached egg so light and creamy it melts like butter in your mouth... it was every bit as delicious as I remember it. So good, I just might make another big pot of black beans for next week. :)

Black Bean Huevos Rancheros
recipe inspired by the dish at The Fogglifter Cafe in McCall, ID
yields 1 serving of 2 huevos

2 corn tortillas
1 cup Cuban black beans, heated
1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese (I used a pre-shredded blend of Asadero and Manchego)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

For Garnish (if desired)
sour cream
green salsa

1. Gently smash the black beans with a fork, to create a chunky paste. Drain a little of the liquid if necessary to keep the mixture nice and thick.
2. Heat the tortillas in a pan or a griddle over medium-high heat, heating until crispy on one side. Flip the tortillas and spread half of the black beans onto them and top with the cheese. Cover and heat until the tortilla is crisp and the cheese is melted. Transfer to a plate.
3. Fill a shallow pan with 1 1/2 inches of water and heat to 190 degrees F. Use a slotted spoon to move the bubbles that have formed on the bottom of the pan and stir in the vinegar. Crack the eggs into individual glass ramekins, careful not to break the yolk. Press the ramekin into the water and gently slide the egg into the water. Maintain the water temperature at 190 degrees and cook for 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggs to a towel-line plate. (I found this video by Alton Brown to be especially helpful, since I had never poached an egg before.)
4. Once drained, place the eggs on top of the tortillas. Top with sour cream and green salsa if desired.


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