Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Rosie Makes Her Corn/Bean Tortilla Pie.

This is one of my family's favorite things I make. 
It's a corn/bean tortilla pie -  layered with corn, black beans, cheeses, and tortillas, brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with cumin and cayenne, and then it's baked.
I like to serve it with fresh tomato salsa on the side with some cilantro from the garden.
And it's delicious.

I'm giving you guidelines here for the amounts, but like most "recipes," this ain't etched in stone.
You can tweak it as you like.  More cheddar here.  More Monteray Jack there.  More mozzarella here.  More beans and corn there.

I do have one suggestion for you as you layer the pie.  When you're putting the corn, beans, and cheeses on each layer, add a little extra around the outside.  The reason for this is simple.  If you have the filling evenly spread out on each layer, the whole thing has a tendency to "dome" in the middle when it bakes.  If you build up the filling on the edges, it keeps the pie more even.
Rosie's Corn/Bean Tortilla Pie
1 package large flour tortillas  (If you want a smaller pie, use the small tortillas.)
Grated cheddar cheese (about 3 cups)
Grated Monteray Jack cheese (about 3 cups)
Grated Mozzarella cheese (about 3 cups)
1 can corn, drained
2 cups cooked black beans
2 TB melted butter

Rosie Note:  I do not use canned beans.  I use dried beans.  Sometimes I soak them.  Sometimes I don't and I just go straight to the boil.  I boil them until they're tender, sort of al dente.  I don't care for mushy beans.  I like a bit of "tooth" to them.

Now here's the irony about soaking dried beans.  When I looked it up, the reason one soaks beans (presumably overnight) is to make them "faster to cook."  Well, if you've spent hours soaking, I think you could have cooked them in that amount of time.  Plus, cooking the beans right in the water without a pre-soak gives more flavor to the liquid in case you're making, say, a bean soup.
Now, if you're really short on time and haven't soaked the dried beans, here's a tip:  Cook your beans with a little baking soda added to the water (about a teaspoon per cup of beans).  The added alkalinity breaks down the pectin molecules causing the beans to cook quicker.  In other words, the alkaline environment creates a chemical reaction that causes the cell structure of the beans to break down.  Conversely, adding acids to your beans will make them take longer to cook and even prevent them from becoming fully softened.  So if you're making a bean soup, add any citric acid, vinegar, or tomatoes at the end after cooking.  And now you know.

And when you're done cooking the beans, rinse them off and drain them.

Combine beans and drained corn.

To assemble your pie:
Place one tortilla on a baking sheet.  Sprinkle cheese over the tortilla.  Add some beans and corn.  Sprinkle more cheese.  Place the next tortilla on top, pressing firmly.  Keep layering until you've used up almost all the cheeses and corn/bean mixture (just a few tablespoons).  Amounts here are enough for about 6 layers.

Melt the butter and brush over the top tortilla and along the edges of the stacked tortillas.  Sprinkle the top with remaining tablespoons of cheeses, corn, and beans.  Give the edges a dusting of cayenne and cumin.

Bake in a 325° oven for about 45 minutes.  If the top starts browning, cover with foil.  Remove from oven and let sit for about 15 minutes before slicing.

Now, for the step-by-steps:
Grate 3 piles of cheeses - cheddar, Monteray Jack, and mozzarella.  Be generous with cheese.  Always.

Layer some cheese.

Then some beans and corn.  And cheese on top, for the "glue."

Layer and layer.  Build up filling more on the edges to prevent "doming."

Brush edges and top tortilla with melted butter.

Then add last of the fillings on top.

And throw some cayenne and cumin on the sides on top.

Ready for baking.
 Ta daaaaa!

Let rest a bit before slicing.


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