Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cheesy bean and tortilla pie...

We don't drink much alcohol... in fact, I couldn't even tell you the last time I actually drank some from a glass. However, that doesn't mean our pantry is void of any as I actually use quite a bit for cooking (surprise!).

I bring this up because I had to pop open a bottle of beer to make this Tortilla and Black-Bean Pie for dinner tonight. It was kind of funny - I had it sitting on the counter when Jeff came walked in the door and said "Hey! Why wasn't I invited to the party?". Jeff wanted to go try out a sip from the bottle, but sadly there was nary a drip left when he turned the bottle upside down... oops!

The filling for this stacked pie is a combination of softened onions, a jalapeƱo chile (feel free to remove the ribs and seeds from the inside if you want to tame the heat), a couple cloves of garlic and a bit of cumin for a smoky background. A few cups of black beans are added, along with the beer, and the mixture is allowed to simmer until the liquid has mostly evaporated, infusing the beans with flavor. I then stirred in a bunch of corn kernels (I knew I couldn't keep myself out of the supply in the freezer!) and a few sliced scallion to heat through.

The original recipe called for using 10" flour tortillas and then trimming them down to fit inside a 9" springform pan. Rather than go through the trouble, I just used 8" tortillas - the bean layer was a bit thicker, but not unmanageable at all! The assembly process is very straight forward - the round tortilla is placed inside the springform pan, followed by a mound of the chunky bean mixture and a scattering of white cheddar cheese. The layers continue, ending with the beans on top and a generous layer of cheese as the final touch.

This needs to bake just long enough so the filling heats back up and the cheese turns from shreds into a gooey, stringy mess of cheesy love. I really didn't find the need to use a springform pan in the end, especially if you are using the smaller tortillas, however it is a good safety measure "just in case" anything should happen when transferring it in and out of the oven. After a short rest, I found this was completely slice-able into fairly neat and tidy pieces, save for the bit of the warm cheese the slowly oozes out. Hearty, very filling and did I mention cheesy? How could you go wrong with this? If you're feeling festive, top it off with a dollop of cooling sour cream and a spoonful of your favorite salsa!


  1. That looks yummy! What is your opinion of the beer in this?


  2. Quinn - it doesn't end up tasting like beer per se, but just adds a nice, sharp depth. If you don't want to use it, just replace it with vegetable broth.

  3. Joe - that looks delicious! Can't wait to give it a try..Love coming to you blog as it's always a feast for the eye and then a treat for the palate!

  4. as everything you make does, that looks tasty :)

  5. what a wonderful looking meal, i like the cake like presentation

  6. Gigi - Aww, thank you for the nice words!

    TTFN - You are too kind!

    Kat - Thanks!

  7. I'm going to have to give this a try. We were given a huge sack of black, pinto an kidney dried beans a while.

    It's time to start using them!