1 small red onion
1 small bunch cilantro
14-ounce can black beans
2.5 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese (about ⅓ cup)
½ cup whole milk
¾ cup water, divided
½ cup coarse yellow cornmeal (polenta)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
1 ripe avocado
2 large eggs
Cholula hot sauce or your favorite kind
large pan with lid
medium pot with lid
Rinse the cilantro and roughly chop the leaves, discarding the stems. Peel the onion and cut it into small dice. Drain the black beans, rinse them, and set them aside. Using a box grater, grate the cheddar cheese.
Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot and the oil is shimmering, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it’s soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cayenne pepper, chili powder, and cumin and cook until the mixture is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the black beans and 2 tablespoons of water, stir once, and cover the pan. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until most of the water is absorbed and the beans are warmed through, 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper as desired. Transfer the beans to a bowl and cover them with foil to keep warm.
While the beans cook, bring the milk and ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons of water to a boil in a medium pot over over high heat. Once boiling, add a pinch of salt and reduce the heat to low. Slowly whisk in the polenta. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the water is absorbed and the mixture has thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove the pot from heat. Stir in the butter and cheddar cheese. Season with pepper as desired. Cover the pot to keep warm.
Halve the avocado and discard the pit and skin. Thinly slice it and set aside.
Wipe the pan from the beans clean and heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat. Gently crack 2 eggs into the pan, reduce the heat to low, and cover the pan. Cook until the whites are set, 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Season with salt and black pepper as desired.
Spoon the polenta into roomy bowls. Top it with the beans, eggs, and avocado slices. Add a few squeezes of lime juice to the avocado and season with salt and pepper as desired. (Use the remaining lime for a future recipe.) Garnish with the cilantro, then enjoy your breakfast with as much hot sauce as you can handle at 8:00 a.m.