It started by making the polenta. The yellow grits were used up yesterday so I opened this bag of locally ground yellow cornmeal. It is very finely ground and makes a lovely creamy polenta with just water, salt and a nub of butter.
While the polenta was cooking on low heat I made the Ranchero Sauce. I had chopped some red onion and garlic then realized there wasn’t a jalapeño in the house. But, no worries. There were homegrown jalapeños which I had flash frozen* back in 2014 using dry ice.
*Flash frozen peppers (and other veggies) remain crisp when thawed, crisp enough that I may even use some in a salad I am planning for next week.
I sautéed the onions, garlic and jalapeño for a couple of minutes and still a little crisp and added crushed tomatoes.
Always looking for ways to make more space in the refrigerator, I added onion and Serrano pepper which were all that remained of a small jar of homemade pickled nopalitos.
I added a little dehydrated sugarcane juice to balance the flavors, giving the sauce a hint of sweetness but still tangy.
While the Polenta and Ranchero Sauce were barely simmering on the back burners, I heated refried black beans, seasoned with onion powder, garlic powder and homemade Chipotle Tex-Mex Seasoning, in the microwave.
The refried beans were rather thick so I added water to get almost a sauce consistency.
When I plan to present a plated dish at the table I like to to preheat the plate by pouring a little water onto the plate and place it into the microwave for 30 seconds or so. This is particularly important if I intend to snap a photo or three before the food is to be eaten.
This dish was delicious down to the last bite. Huevos Rancheros ordered in a restaurant might be a disappointment after this.
I came up with this idea on my own, but as I often say, “There is nothing new under the sun.” To avoid spoiling my own creative experience, I have learned to resist peeking at the internet before trying out an idea. Discovering later that the idea has been done hundreds of times before doesn’t make it any less good.
This will be a frequent breakfast dish henceforth.