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Chipotle Scented Beans, Poached Egg

This was inspired by a brunch dish at Calafia (my favorite restaurant in Palo Alto). The beans are super smoky from the chipotle, the poached egg oozes out onto the tomatoes and into the beans… I suggest a spoon and tortillas (or bread) to mop it all up. It is great for weekend breakfast or brunch: give yourself the time to cook the beans in the morning and they’ll be ready by lunchtime.

Always make extra beans: they freeze really well, and taste infinitely better than canned. Soaking them overnight both shortens the cooking time and eliminates their gassy effect (as my dad says, “I love beans, but sometimes they don’t love me”)…

Keep the bean broth - you’ll need it in this recipe, and it’s nutrient and flavor packed so leftovers are great for sauces and soups.

The recipe seems long but it's easy to make. Make the beans in advance, up to a few days or weeks and freeze (if you’re pressed for time, use canned). Grill and plate tomatoes, warm and cook beans, poach egg, and assemble. With the exception of the beans, the recipe is for one so adjust as needed.

Black Beans: 1 lb of black beans (1 bag) 1/4 white or yellow onion 2-3 teaspoons of salt, plus more to taste 1/2 teaspoon of powdered chile chipotle, or 1 whole chopped chile chipotle and 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce

Poached Egg: (instructions for one) 1 fresh egg 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar freshly ground cracked pepper and sea salt, for serving Grilled Tomato: 1 roma tomato drizzle of extra virgin olive oil freshly ground pepper

Black Beans (make ahead!): Clean out beans for any stones, debris, and shriveled beans. Put them into a large bowl, cover with a few inches of water, and leave them to soak overnight (10-14 hours). The next morning they should be about double in size. Drain thoroughly and gently rinse.

Place in a large heavy pot (i.e. dutch oven) with the onion, and cover with water up to an extra inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cover the pot and cook, checking for doneness frequently as well as water level. This can can take between 1 - 3 hours depending on the freshness of the beans.

Once beans are tender but still too firm to enjoy as a spoonful, add salt (if you add salt too early it can keep beans from becoming tender). Keep simmering for 10 minutes or so, until beans are tender and creamy. Add more salt to taste. Turn off heat, cover and keep warm.

Grilled Tomato: slice up tomato into rounds and sprinkle both sides with freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle a small pan with olive oil over medium-high heat. Add tomato rounds and grill for about 3 minutes on each side, until slightly charred but not falling apart. Place in 2 layers in the middle of a plate. Season with freshly ground sea salt.

Chipotle infused beans: Using the same pan where you grilled the tomatoes, turn heat down to low. Scoop about 2 ladles of the cooked black beans with their broth (about 1 1/2 cups). Warm them up and stir in chipotle powder or whole chipotle chili and adobo sauce. Cook through gently taking care not to cook through the broth. You want these saucy. As they heat through, poach your egg.

Poached Egg (from Bon Appetit, see note below): pour vinegar into a ramekin or small bowl, and gently crack an egg. Let stand for 5 minutes, while you bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Reduce heat until water is gently simmering, then using a whisk or spoon, swirl the water until a vortex forms (really put some effort into it, you want a bona-fide “remolino”). Very gently, slip egg and vinegar into the middle of the cortex, continuing to swirl water around the egg. As the egg turns in circles, the whites should wrap around the yold and form an oval shape. Simmer egg for 2 minutes, gently swirling the water.

Remove from water with a slotted spoon and drain, and trim off any stray strands of egg white. Blot carefully with a paper towel. You can poach a second egg in that water, but use a fresh batch if making more than that.

Assembly: place poached egg on top of tomato bed, and season with pepper and red pepper flakes, if desired. Scoop in chipotle beans and the broth around the tomato bed. Garnish with cilantro, and serve with warm tortillas or bread, and avocado. A sprinkle of queso fresco or feta cheese would be great on this.

Cooked beans enough for 2-4 as main

Note on poached eggs: my kind of eggs. A scroll down my instagram shows how frequently I make them. My tips: use really fresh eggs, don’t plop the egg into the water from way up - slide it in, slowly and carefully, and make sure the water is at a gentle simmer (not rapid boil). The less you disturb the egg, the better the outcome. If this isn’t working out, try this technique.

Make eggs ahead: make the poached eggs while beans are cooking, or as much as 1 day in advance (useful if you’re serving a crowd). Slightly under cook and immediately transfer to a bowl of ice water, let cool. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to a plate, cover and chill. When ready to use, warm in a sauce pan of barely simmering water for 1 minute.

Bean and Egg Deliciousness

Chipotle infused black beans, grilled tomato, grilled tomato, poached egg

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