Sunday, June 19, 2011

Rosie Makes Her Corn Bean Tortilla Pie.

I've blogged about this particular dish several times before, but I'm doing it again in time for any Fourth of July parties you may be going to. If you ever need a special dish to bring to a party or picnic, this is it. I take this every year to our neighborhood Labor Day pig-pickin' and it's always the first dish to go. Trust Rosie on this.
Rosie's mise en place:
flour tortillas
can of corn
1 cup dried black beans, cooked
green, yellow, orange, and red peppers (2 TB chopped each)
1 small onion (1/2 cup chopped)
 black olives
2 heaping cups cheddar cheese
 2 heaping cups Mozzarella cheese
 2 heaping cups Monterey Jack cheese
First, make the filling that goes between the tortillas.
Mix 1 can corn with the cooked beans. I do not use canned beans and don't recommend using them. If one absolutely must, be sure to rinse all the slime off the canned beans first. And even then, they still have a metallic patina that looks like an oil spill. No. No. No! I simply won't allow you to use canned beans. Do it my way or not at all. Back to dried beans. Beans take about 35-40 minutes to cook. They're cheap. There's no excuse not to use real beans. Don't bother with the instructions on the packages that tell you to soak the beans overnight. That's totally unnecessary. Listen to Rosie. All I do is rinse the beans first, then add them to salted boiling water and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes. Drain the beans, rinse well, and refresh the water in the pan. Add salt, bring to boil, add beans. Reduce to simmer and cook until tender. Taste test. I like my beans al dente not mushy, so 15 - 20 more minutes is usually right for my tastes.
Next, prepare the onions and peppers. I used 1 small onion which is about 1/2 cup chopped.
The pepper wedges yielded about 2 tablespoons when chopped. This is one of those dishes where there really is no exact "recipe." You can add pretty much what you want and tailor the ratios to your own tastes.
One thing I love about this dish is the colors.
Mix well.
Pretty! Pretty! : )
I grated my cheese - about 2 heaping cups each of Mozzarella, cheddar, and Montery Jack. What I recommend is to go ahead and grate plenty of cheese. You don't want to run out at the end when you're layering the tortillas and have to stop and grate more. Have it ready. The cheese is the glue holding the whole thing together and when you started building the layers, the cheese is an important structural element. I use extra cheese around the edges to keep the layers even. If you don't build up the edges, you'll end up with a domed-shaped construction after baking. Start assembly.
First layer. Sprinkle assorted cheeses over the tortilla. Add corn/bean mixture evenly. Add extra cheese around perimeter so the next tortilla will lie flat.
Second layer.

I keep layering until I run out of corn/bean.

I ended up with six tortilla layers.
Melt a couple tablespoons butter and brush tops and sides.
Be sure to brush the edges of the tortillas with butter.

I topped the tortilla pie with a sprinkling of corn, beans, cheeses, chopped scallions, and sliced black olives. I dusted the edges with cumin and cayenne powder.
Ready for baking. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 - 45 minutes. Check near the end in case you need to tent the pie.
Let sit at least ten minutes before slicing.

This is one of my favorite dishes.

I like to serve mine with homemade salsa and creme fraiche. For the salsa, just peel, seed, and juice however many tomatoes you want. Add in some chopped onion and minced jalapeno. A few teaspoons of sugar and cider vinegar. A sprinkling of cilantro. Freshly ground salt and pepper. If you've never made creme fraiche, then you owe it to yourself to do so. Get a cup of heavy cream. Add a tablespoon each of buttermilk and lime juice. Stir with an up and down motion 4-5 times. Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight. Next day, stir, cover, and refrigerate. Use as you would sour cream.
I like to add in a few sprigs of cilantro and a few fresh coriander seeds from my cilantro plants in the creme fraiche. Bon appetit, indeed!

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