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Published on June 15, 2020

Benedict Rancheros

Healthy Meals Made Easy

From Joe Yonan, author of Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One.


  • 1 jalapeño
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin1 cup canned crushed tomatoes in their juices
  • 1/2 cup water, plus more as needed
  • 2 eggs
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained (or use canned refried black beans)
  • 1/4 cup water, plus more as needed
  • 1 corn muffin or square of cornbread


  1. Remove the stem from the jalapeño and cut in half lengthwise. Scrape out and reserve the seeds, then finely chop the flesh.
  2. Pour the oil into a medium skillet over medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the shallot, garlic, poblano, jalapeño flesh, and cumin and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes and water and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to low and let the mixture gently simmer until it has thickened to a sauce-like consistency, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, poach the eggs, keeping them warm by transferring them once they're poached properly to a bowl of 120°F water.
  4. Taste the sauce and add more water, if desired. Season with salt and pepper. If it's not spicy enough, add some of the reserved jalapeño seeds until you reach the desired level of heat. Refrigerate or freeze half of the sauce for another use. Stir the cilantro into the remaining sauce, cover, and remove from the heat.
  5. Pour the beans and liquid into another small, preferably nonstick skillet over medium heat. Use a potato masher or a large fork to mash the beans, and let them cook until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add a little liquid if necessary to keep them spreadable, and remove from the heat.
  6. Cut off the domed top of the corn muffin, then cut the muffin in half horizontally. Toast the muffin halves under the broiler or in a toaster oven until golden brown on the cut side.
  7. Transfer the muffins to a plate, cut side up. Spread half the beans on top of each muffin; top with a poached egg and the ranchero sauce. Crumble the reserved muffin top over the sauce.

Note: This recipe makes twice as much sauce as you need. Before adding the cilantro, refrigerate half in an airtight container for up to one week or freeze for several months, and use the extra sauce for more Benedict Rancheros another time, or on quesadillas or nachos, or whisked with oil and vinegar for a homemade salad dressing.

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