It's old news that I heart Mexican food. A lot. I mean, what's not to like? Gooey cheese . . . sour cream and salsa . . . beans galore . . . and, my favorite, guacamole. Mexican can't be beat in my book! Plus, Mexican foods can be quick and simple to prepare as well as be extremely healthful and filling. Yum!
We'll come back to the Mexican. When I saw this month's ingredients for the Royal Foodie Joust hosted by The Leftover Queen, I have to admit that I was stumped -- at first. The three required ingredients are coffee, black peppercorns, and honey. My initial inclination was toward a savory scone, bread, or pfeffernusse cookie, muffin-lover that I am. From there I started thinking about some sort of tangy, cowboy coffee-inspired pancake. My creative juices flowing along the barbecue vein at this point, I finally decided to create my own sauce/marinade.
I combined both sweet and spicy flavors in a liquid base of lime juice and brewed coffee. Pumpkin puree also made its way into the mix to add a little thickness. I then simmered the concoction over low heat for 45 minutes or so. This could probably be cut down a little by upping the heat, but I wanted to give the sauce time to cook off some of the liquid without burning the rest. Also, I didn't use just black peppercorns but a medley of black, white, pink, and green peppercorns. Not only did these little gems add some fun color to the sauce, but they lent a lighter spice than plain black peppercorns.
Finally, the sauce was ready to be put into action. But how? Here's where my Mexican food fetish comes in. For lunch today, I decided to make one of my favorite south-of-the-border meals: huevos rancheros. Except this time, I spread some of my brand new sauce over the black beans, corn, and wheat tortilla before cracking an egg into the middle of the mess. I sprinkled a little jalapeno soy cheddar over the top, drizlled a little more of the sauce, and then closed it into my toaster oven for about twenty minutes.
When the egg was set, I topped the entire thing with more cheese, quark, and a little mango-peach salsa. Paired with a seasonal flavored yogurt from Safeway (caramel apple, which was not my favorite) and a salad with balsamic and Dijon mustard, this meal truly hit the spot on a chilly almost-winter afternoon. The sauce really brought a special smokey-sweet zing to the table (no pun intended!). I have more sauce stored away in the fridge that I think will probably end up marinating over some chicken in my slow cooker next week. And what's more, I have a feeling that that chicken is going to be one tasty bird!
1/4 cup black beans
1/4 cup corn
1/4 cup diced pineapple
1/4 cup cheddar
3 T Cowboy Sauce (see below)
toppings of your choice (sour cream, quark, avocado, salsa, etc.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (I used my toaster oven, and upped the temperature to 400 because it's a little on the weak side). On a tray lightly coated in non-stick spray, place one tortilla (I used a wheat tortilla that measured about 8 inches in diameter).
In a separate bowl, mix the beans (I used black, but feel free to use refried, kidney, or any other bean of your choosing), corn, pineapple, and 2 Tablespoons of Cowboy Sauce. Arrange this mixture in the middle of the tortilla in a circle, leaving a space in the center. Into this space crack one egg. Sprinkle about half of the cheddar cheese over the top of the egg and beans, then place the tray in the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes. When the egg is set to your liking, remove the tray from the oven. Slide the [very hot!] tortilla onto a plate, and spread the rest of the cheese over the top. Garnish with your favorite toppings, then chow down vaquero-style.* Yeehaw!
1/2 tsp hot sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup brewed coffee
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
4 tsp brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp peppercorn medley
1 T garlic, minced
In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients. Stir well, then simmer on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
*"Vaquero" means "cowboy" in Spanish. And if you were wondering, "huevos rancheros" translates to "rancher eggs."