My first introduction to huevos rancheros was in college. As I’ve mentioned here before, my intro to all things brunch—sweet, savory, light, and decadent—was also in college. I was in New Orleans to study music, but when I look back to that time, I learned much about the joy food could bring from preparation to meal time and how intricately it was woven into the culture there.
That first huevos rancheros blew my mind. Being from the Midwest, it wasn’t a dish that graced many breakfast menus (at least that I had seen), and it quickly became one of my favorites.
When I went gluten-free, many of my favorite restaurant brunch items became obsolete. Biscuits and gravy. French toast. Cinnamon rolls. Thankfully, and much to my delight, huevos rancheros has remained a go-to.
To mix things up a bit, I’ve lost the corn tortillas and nestled the ingredients atop warm and hearty polenta. Seasoned black beans, a little feta, and some delicious slices of avocado accompany an egg, or two, for a filling, good-for-you breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner.
Make a Salted Plains recipe? I’d love to see! Tag your creations on Instagram with #saltedplains!
- For Polenta:
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal or polenta
- 4 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- For Beans:
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- juice of half a lime
- salt and pepper, to taste
- For Assembly:
- 2 to 4 eggs, fried
- handful of cilantro, chopped
- 1 to 2 avocados, sliced
- ½ cup crumbled feta
- salsa or hot sauce
- For Polenta: Bring water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add salt. Once water is at a boil, add cornmeal in a slow stream, whisking constantly.
- Continue to whisk cornmeal until mixture starts to thicken and doesn't immediately settle to bottom. Turn heat to low, place a lid on saucepan and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Stir about every 10 minutes or so, being sure to scrape sides down. Polenta is done when it has reached a porridge-like consistency.
- For Beans: While polenta is cooking, heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once oil is warmed add black beans, spices, and lime juice. Stir to combine, reduce heat, and cook until warm.
- For Assembly: Fry up your eggs as you like. Divide polenta amongst bowls. Do the same with black beans, avocado slices, and feta. Top with eggs and add salsa or hot sauce as you please. Sprinkle with cilantro and season with salt and pepper as desired.