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Posts Tagged ‘Black Beans’

Adam and I love Mexican food!  We were completely spoiled in Los Angeles with the abundance of great Mexican restaurants, and our wonderful friends cooking for us.  I honestly do not believe that I cooked any sort of Mexican food while in LA.  I didn’t have to, and how could I compete?  While my co-workers shared their homemade salsa, I baked a good ol’ apple pie.  I really should have taken advantage of the fresh California avocados, cilantro, tomatillos, etc., but, alas, I did not.  Now, I’m living in Brooklyn, NY, where places like California Burrito are packed, but the food is just not up to par.  I miss our burrito stand right around the corner from our house.  We could get a burrito for under $5 that would blow-your-mind!

Okay, enough about burritos and California.  Since I can’t find good Mexican food in Brooklyn, I decided I’d make it myself, and it took the form of Tortilla Pie.  I found a recipe on this really cute food blog, Pink Parsley.  I had the majority of ingredients, but had to send Adam out to the Bodega for the rest of the items to complete this dish – namely, the beer.  I love recipes that call for beer!   I love enjoying a nice cold beer with a warm, spicy meal.  This Black Bean and Tortilla Pie did not disappoint!  It was spicy, smokey, cheesy and satisfied my craving for Mexican food!

Black Bean and Tortilla Pie
adapted from Pink Parsley
Printable Recipe

4 (10-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chile powder
salt and pepper
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen corn
1 12-ounce beer, or 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped, plus more for garnish
8 ounces cheese, shredded (I used Mexican cheese blend)
salsa and sour cream, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Using the bottom of the pan as a guide, use a paring knife to trim the edges of the tortillas so that they fit in a 9-inch springform pan.

Heat the oil in a large skillet set over medium heat.  Saute the onion until soft, 5-10 minutes.  Add the garlic, chipotle powder, cumin, chile powder, salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the beans and beer to the skillet, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated, 8-10 minutes.  Mix in the corn, scallions, and cilantro, and remove from heat.

Lay one of the tortillas across the bottom of the springform pan.  Layer with 1/4 of the beans, and sprinkle with cheese.  Repeat 3 times, finishing with beans and cheese.  Bake until cheese is melted and the mixture is heated through, about 20-25 minutes.

Remove from oven and unmold the pie.  Garnish with remaining scallions and cilantro, and serve with your choice of topping (salsa, sour cream), or as is. Enjoy!
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Home Cooking

I recently made a trip to Vermont to visit with my parents and sister.  I love Vermont, and I especially love Vermont in the Fall.  The colors of the leaves are amazing, and the air is just so crisp and clean.  It is refreshing to visit after living in one of the smoggiest cities (Los Angeles) in the US, and one of the most congested (New York).  I do have to admit that, though I love the warm, dry weather of Southern California, I do enjoy the changing of the seasons in the Northeast.

There is nothing better than home cooking!  I love it when my mother cooks for me.  Both my mother and sister are naturals in the kitchen and can create amazing meals out of thin air. On this recent trip home, my sister decided to cook us dinner one night.  My parents are really into sweet potatoes right now – I think it’s the Fall weather & the fact that they are healthy.  My sister decided to jazz them up a little bit, and made us sweet potato and black bean burritos.  She added chipotle powder that my parents got in Santa Fe, New Mexico, when we visiting my Adam’s family last year.  Can I tell you that the burritos were amazing!  They were spicy, smoky, delicious, and I wished that Adam had been there to try them because I knew he would have loved them!

Of course my sister did not use a recipe, so when I decided to recreate this dish in NYC, she told me to use coriander, cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper with no measurements.  No measurements does not work for me!  So I did a little internet research and found a similar recipe & then adapted it to what I thought would be good.  Deviating from a recipe makes me nervous, but in this case I got it right!  The burritos tasted just like my sister’s, and Adam loved them!

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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos
adapted from Moosewood Restaurant
Printable Recipe

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped finely
1 package of mushrooms (my sister’s idea!)
2-3 tsp ground cumin
2-3 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chili powder
a few dashes of cayenne pepper
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
a bunch of cilantro, chopped
grated cheddar cheese
8 flour tortillas
salsa, for topping
salt to taste

You can either bake these or cook on stove top.  I did mine on the stove top the first night, and baked our leftovers the second night, and actually prefered baking – it’s up to you.  If you would like to bake them, preheat oven to 350.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper, or lightly oil a baking dish.

Par-boil sweet potatoes for approximately 7 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

In a large pan, saute onions, jalapeno, and mushrooms in olive oil until onions become translucent and mushrooms become tender – approximately 5-10 minutes.  Add garlic and saute for another minute.  Add cumin, coriander, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt – adjusting the spices according to your own tastes.  I like them spicy!  Add the sweet potatoes to the pan, mixing them with the spices.  Then add the black beans and mix.  I recommend adding a few tablespoons of water to the pan – it seemed to help the spices coat the potatoes and beans.

Spoon sweet potato and black bean mixture into the tortillas.  Top with desired amount of cheese and cilantro and roll up. Place seam-side down into pan or baking dish.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tortillas are crispy on the outside.  If you are cooking them on the stove, either use cooking spray or oil, cook flipping once, until they are slightly brown.  Top with salsa and enjoy!

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