Friday, March 21, 2014

Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

 Happy Spring! It's so nice to see our roses blooming, and our garden has come back to life. 

Our wisteria was in its full glory, last weekend, making the bees very happy.   Our tomato plants are tiny little guys, and I am so looking forward to our homegrown tomatoes. (Thank you, my wonderful husband.) It'll be a few more months, but the wait will be worth it.

The extra hour of light, makes cooking dinner more enjoyable.  Right now, I'm going through a temporary health setback-- nothing serious. My thyroids are acting a bit wonky, so that leaves me feeling super fatigued by the time I get home from work.   My doctor and I are adjusting some meds, which might take a few more weeks to get my energy level back.  In the meantime, I relish any recipes that don't require a lot of work.   I try to make a meatless dinner at least once a week so I can limit my red meat intake.

As I was driving home, I was taking a mental inventory of what's in my fridge and pantry.  I shop at Trader Joe's on Fridays, so I had a fresh package of their flour tortillas in my grocery bag, and I had picked up a bag of their packaged three-cheese mix. I was planning on making quesadillas for dinner, since those are always so quick to do.

It's funny how I hoard recipes in my brain.  Suddenly, I remembered this recipe for Tortilla and Black Bean Pie, that I had bookmarked in one of my Martha Stewart Everyday Food cookbooks a very long time ago.   I always thought that it looked so pretty, as a layered tortilla pie.  Well, what do you know? I had all the ingredients! Quesadilla could wait for another time. It was time to make this recipe:

Onions, scallions, fresh garlic and jalapenos... check.  Chop, chop, chop.

Canned black beans are a pantry staple. We love them, especially mixed with corn.  This recipe is very simple to make.  Onion, garlic and jalapeno are seasoned with salt and pepper, and a little cumin.  They are sauteed until just soft... just a few minutes.

Drained and rinsed black beans are added to the skillet and a bottle of beer (or water) and then simmered until the liquid is pretty much evaporated-- 10-12 minutes.

A spring form pan is perfect for layering the flour tortillas with the bean and corn filling. I used the bottom of the pan as a guide, to trim the tortillas.  This took less than one minute. 

There's a little bit of liquid left, but I turned the heat  off and added some frozen corn, along with chopped scallions.

Placing a flour tortilla on the bottom (I used a little non-stick spray for insurance), I used a slotted spoon to evenly spread 1/4 of the filling, and then added about 1/2 cup of grated cheese.  I repeated this and then popped this into a 400F oven for about 20 minutes.

As I've written many times-- there is seldom much extra t time for me to "food style" when dinner is ready on a week night. My men are hungry, and I'm tired and hungry.  So, I snapped a shot or two, not really sure if I would even post this recipe.

Dinner is ready, in just under an hour. On a Friday, after a very hectic work week. Amen.

TASTING NOTES: What you don't see is the cilantro nor salsa, that is the perfect garnish for this dinner.   My opinion of this dish is very simple. I like it!  It's good. It's flavorful. It's hearty. It's meatless, but still very filling. My husband went back for seconds, and I'm not surprised. He loves black beans and corn so I knew this would please him.  Even though I used one whole jalapeno, this was not at all spicy.  The beer? The beans didn't taste like beer, in a good way.  I love beer, but I would think it adds just a bit more flavor to the beans. I'm sure you could use water, instead.
The tortilla edges get a little crunchy, from the melted cheese. The interior of the tortillas becomes very soft-- pretty much like an enchilada. 

So, I decided this recipe is worth sharing, because I would make this again.  I would think I could easily add some cooked chicken to this, for a little extra protein.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did. 

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Bill said...

I don't do nearly enough Mexican style dishes and this one looks so delicious! Black beans and corn are always a great combination. Such an easy and great dish for a weeknight supper. I might even top it off with some avocado! Great post, Debby!

Sam Hoffer @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a lovely presentation the springform pan makes in this. If it's got black beans in it, it has to be good IMHO.

Penny @ The Comforts of Home said...

These looks and sounds wonderful! Does the tortilla get crispy?

Debby Foodiewife said...

That's a great question, Penny! I edited my tasting notes to explain that the edges got a little crunchy, from the melted cheese. The interior becomes quite soft, like an enchilada. Thanks for asking.

Jennifer Drouillard said...

That looks lovely, had you ever considered a little bit of red bell pepper or even quinoa? i have a recipe for a lovely black bean quinoa salad and the red bell (or you can use yellow, orange, whatever you prefer) gives it a nice splash of color, and remember the more colorful, the more nutritious.

Debby Foodiewife said...

Yes, Jennifer, I make a lovely black bean, corn and red pepper salad, in the summer. I use lime juice and a few other ingredients. The red bell pepper is certainly something one can add-- I think this recipe is quite versatile.
Quinoa, on the other hand, is something I'm trying very hard to bond with. I'm not over the moon about it, but I'm trying.

bellini said...

I have a similar recipe in my repertoire that is playfully called a tortilla condo, I guess because it is stacked. It is so quick and delicious, thanks for the tasty reminder Debby.

Joanne said...

I can never get enough of Tex-Mex flavors! Definitely putting this on the menu plan in the coming weeks.

And isn't it super funny the recipes that we remember even after years?

Penny said...

I love dishes like this and will definitely try it. Hope your energy level improves soon Debby.

Renee said...

Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I made it last night and it was DELICIOUS! I'm vegetarian so it was perfect, my husband had it with a steak on the side. :-). Quick, easy, wonderful.