Rancheros Sin Huevos

The title of this dish doesn’t strictly make sense, but conceptually I started with huevos rancheros, and I ended up here. With no huevos. With no tortilla. But with a delicious brunch.

Traditionally, huevos rancheros consists of eggs (huevos) scrambled or fried, on a fried corn tortilla. The eggs are then topped with beans, salsa, and sour cream. Since I was making this sin huevos, I realized that I needed something to make it brunch (and also to distinguish it from a black bean tostada). And, since my pot pie the other day, I’ve been obsessing about hash browns. So my base layer became crispy fried hash browns.

On top of the hash browns, I put aromatic black beans. Some huevos rancheros use refried beans, but for my money, nothing tops these black beans. I had to exercise serious self-control to save some for the assembly; I wanted to just eat them out of the pan. The cumin, cilantro, and garlic mix with the taste of the black beans and make for an addicting combo.

My plan was to top this with salsa like “real” huevos rancheros, but when I went to my fridge I realized I was out. And since I had the taste of the beans in my mouth and the smell of the hash browns in my nose, I had no patience left to go to the store or whip some up. So I just chopped up a tomato, which turned out to be a great choice. Though I’m sure salsa would be great on this, I liked the lightness of the tomato’s flavor. It let the hash browns and beans take center stage (as they should).

The recipe below looks really long and complicated, but it’s not. Start to finish, this took me about 20 minutes. An easy weekend brunch or even a weeknight dinner. Either way, it’s a bright spot on the menu.