For a vegetarian meal packed with protein, you can't do much better than eggs and beans. This combination is easy to prepare for a quick dinner or a pre-workout breakfast, particularly because most of the prep is done in advance. Cook up a big pot of the spiced Mexican black beans in a pressure cooker the day before you eat them, then just reheat and serve -- what could be easier?
Of course, it helps that it's also a delicious combination. When black beans are cooked with soaking liquid (contrary to popular myth, this bean liquid doesn't really make beans any less... musical), they become even more flavorful, and a thick, rich, dark sauce is made. When combined with a just-cooked organic egg yolk, there's really nothing better.
The poached eggs are perhaps the toughest part of this recipe, but tough is comparative in this case. Cooking the eggs with a touch of vinegar in the water helps them to coagulate more easily, ensuring an egg that doesn't come apart when you remove it from the water. That said, if poached eggs are too stressful in the morning, you could just as easily serve these beans with a runny fried egg.
Spiced Mexican Black Beans Recipe with Poached Eggs
1 pound black beans
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons white vinegar
8 organic eggs
The day before, soak the black beans in cold water. Make sure that the beans stay just covered with water, topping them off as needed.
Transfer the beans and any soaking liquid to a pressure cooker or heavy pot. Make sure the beans are just covered with water. Add the spices and the garlic. Do not season with salt at this point. Cook for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the beans are soft and have begun to break down; there should be a thick sauce alongside the beans. Season with salt.
When ready to serve, reheat the beans. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and season it with vinegar. Crack the eggs into a ramekin, one by one, and add them to the pot of boiling water (you can use the whirlpool technique to ensure that your eggs stay together). Cook as many eggs as you can at once for 2 minutes. Remove with a skimmer and set on paper towels. If you are making a large quantity of eggs, shock them as they are finished in ice water, and then reheat them all at once in boiling water before serving.
Place two eggs on each plate of beans, and season with salt and pepper. Serve with your favorite hot sauce.
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