I know we all have those nights where we haven't planned anything for dinner and we throw together a meal of whatever's on hand. And while it's nice not to waste food, those meals don't tend to be anything exciting or memorable. However, a few weeks ago I threw together a meal with some random things in my fridge and pantry, and dontchaknow it turned out to me one of my all-time favorite homemade meals (and it didn't hurt that it was essentially breakfast-for-dinner).
I would like to state, for the record, that I don't think I had ever eaten Huevos Rancheros prior to making it that fateful night. I am from Connecticut, and you don't get a whole lot of restaurants serving that dish around here (at least not from my experience). I know there are probably a lot of different ways to prepare it, and my knowledge of it is limited to what i've seen on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Rachael Ray's $40-a-Day (is that even on anymore???). So my concoction was, admittedly, not necessarily authentic, but it was very tasty, and pretty creatively assembled, if I do say so myself. Here's what I did:
First, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and toasted up a small flour tortilla. Then I cut up a few fingerling potatoes that I had left over, sauteed them in a pan with some oil, butter, and rosemary until they were fork tender, and set them aside. I had some black beans left over from a previous night's meal, so after I took the potatoes out of the pan, I threw the beans in there with some chopped garlic and onion, and cooked them all together for a few minutes, until the onions were translucent and the beans were heated through. I took out my toasted tortilla, plopped the beans concoction on there, then topped it with a fried egg (runny center is my preference). On top of the egg went a dollop of sour cream, a healthy spoonful of pineapple salsa, and a pinch of dried chives. I added the hash browns on the side, and then, in a fit of inspiration, realized I had some of my new favorite Chimichurri Sauce leftover, and added that to the dish for some extra flavor/color. Behold:
The best thing about this dish is that you could probably make it according to your preferred tastes (vary the bean type, use different salsa, etc). There's such a great mix of textures and flavors (sweetness of the egg yolk with the sharpness of the garlic/onion beans was uh-may-zing) that eating it is really a complete sensory experience. I devoured it standing up at my counter while making inappropriate sounds for which my husband gave me strange looks. But it was all worth it.