Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cheesy Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

I don’t have much specialized cooking gear. I don’t have a Dutch oven or a stand mixer. I have a food processor, but it’s a mini, and so it can’t do most of the things I wish it could do, like make pie dough. There’s lots of stuff I wish I had, and one of the things that’s been on my wish list the longest is a springform pan. I used to eye photos of cheesecakes jealously, fantasizing about the ones I’d make if only I had the proper equipment. Well, I finally got a springform pan, and I have yet to make a cheesecake. I have, however, made a Tortilla and Black-Bean Pie.

I found this recipe on marthastewart.com, and when I saw it I knew it’d be perfect for breaking in my pan. I loved the thought of being able to use my new toy for something besides sweet dishes. And I mean, come on, tortilla and black bean pie? That’s my kind of recipe.

This recipe is tasty and easy to throw together, and it’s great served with some chips and salsa or guacamole. The recipe calls for you to alternate layers of tortillas with a bean mixture, which consists of garlic, onion, jalapeno, corn, and, of course, beans. I started out trying to be pretty careful and consistent with my layering, but at some point I stopped paying attention and just began making layers until I reached the top of my pan. It’s really easy: tortilla, beans, cheese. Repeat. Make sure to save some cheese for the top, as well as some bean mixture if you like. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the pie is warmed through, then sprinkle with chopped scallions.

I’m including the full recipe below, but feel free to use it just as a guide. This recipe is simple to make and easy to adjust to your own tastes. Mix it up however you like. Enjoy!

Cheesy Black-Bean Tortilla Pie
From Everyday Food

4 flour tortillas (10-inch)*
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, diced
1 jalapeno chile, minced (remove seeds and ribs for less heat)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
12 ounces beer or 1 1/2 cups water
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn
4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (8 ounces)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a paring knife, trim tortillas to fit a 9-inch springform pan, using the bottom of the pan as a guide. Set aside.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeño, garlic, and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add beans and beer to skillet, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until liquid has almost evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in corn and scallions, and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Fit a trimmed tortilla in bottom of springform pan; layer with 1/4 of the beans and 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat three times, using 1 cup cheese on top layer. Bake until hot and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Unmold pie; sprinkle with scallions. To serve, slice into wedges.

*I actually had some tortillas that were just under 9 inches (Piñata brand), and if you can find these they’re great. No trimming required! Also, I made an extra layer and used 5 tortillas.

24 comments:

noble pig said...

It never dawned on me to use a springform for a dish like this! Ever!

It looks so yummy!

Kevin said...

That looks so cheesy and good! What vibrant colours. I like the use of the beer in the recipe.

Jeff said...

That looks so good and how can you go wrong with anything that manages to include beer?

Homer: Okay, brain. You don't like me, and I don't like you, but let's get through this thing and then I can continue killing you with beer.
Homer's Brain: It's a deal!

Peter M said...

The photo is stunning...it's like a tortilla mille feuille!

Parker said...

I agree great idea using spring formed pan. Looks great.

Allie said...

I know you call it a pie, but that is by far the most beautiful New Mexican-style enchiladas I have ever seen!

Grace said...

too bad tastespotting is kaput because at least one of those pictures belongs on there! in fact, i may just make one of 'em the background on my computer--it's an absolutely drool-worthy dish! quite frankly, this could be the finest creation i've ever seen--it has almost all of my favorites. i'd like some tomatoes and cilantro, but other than that, it's perfection in a pan! :)

Deborah said...

What a great use for your springform pan!! This sounds like a real winner.

Krysta said...

i never thought of using a spring form pan... way to go cooking macgyver!

Feed the moose said...

Beautiful! I'm definitely adding this to my "to try" list. Thanks!
Also, I'd love to hear what kind of camera you use...I'm on the hunt for a decent one to take food pictures.

Vicarious Foodie said...

Grace: I'm right there with you on both counts. 1) I still can't get over the cruel and sudden disappearance of TasteSpotting and 2) I was also thinking some diced tomatoes would work really well with this.

Feed the moose: Thanks! Hope you like it. I use a Canon PowerShot S3 IS. Definitely recommended.

Holler said...

That sounds lovely. Yum :)

Lore said...

Look at that gorgeous melted cheese! This looks delicious and I think the tortiallas make the perfect layers.

giz said...

This cuisine is not one we see often enough in the great white north. It's just beautiful.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Now that looks fantastic! And here I was thinking I could get by without a springform pan. Looks like I'm either going to have go out and get one or see if I can cook this upside down in a cake pan and flip it like a flan, lol.

Vicarious Foodie said...

Hi Mike. You know, as I was making this I was actually thinking that the springform pan wasn't 100% necessary. If you make your layers even and stable enough, you could probably just bake the whole thing on a sheet tray with no problem. If you have some wooden skewers, you could stick a couple of those through the whole thing at opposite ends for some added stability. You could also try lining a cake pan with foil, leaving enough foil hanging over the edges to form "handles," and then you could use the foil to lift the whole thing out of the pan when it was done.

I should have mentioned this right within the post....

Renee said...

What a fabulous, beautiful idea. I NEVER would have thought of using my springform pan like this - awesome! I think I know what we're having for dinner tomorrow night!

OhioMom said...

Lovely, always on the lookout for something new to add to the menu.

Elle said...

That looks so incredibly cheesy and delicious! I have to remember to try this...and that I need a new springform pan!

Lucy said...

What an awesome idea! A must try!

renae said...

I have made this several times and it's always a hit! Yum!

Neen said...

Well, THAT looks decadently good. Perfect for a backyard party. I love the second photo in particular.

fungaljulie said...

This looks amazing and I am always looking for a "veggie" dish!

Erin said...

Great shots! I've made something similar before but using the spring form pan is a fabulous idea. Holding the shape of all those tortillas, beans and cheese is always a problem. Thanks for posting.