Honestly, why is it that I am always compelled to make things for blog events that look like ass? I feel like I am always sticking a disclaimer on my entries that says, “Sorry this doesn’t photograph well, but I promise it tastes good!”
OK, so, to be a broken record, this is precisely the case with this recipe. There are so many food blogging events that I’ve been wanting to participate in lately but have been so busy I haven’t had the chance. I made it a point, though, to participate in Savory Pies, an event hosted by my friend Ivy at Kopiaste.
Now, you know me. You know I eat pretty healthfully most of the time. Pies are not so healthy. I mean you could make them with phyllo, which is much better than typical crust, but then you have to use all that butter between the layers. And for whatever reason, I can’t justify the cooking oil spraying between each layer instead of the butter or oil. I mean, I am healthy but first and foremost I am Greek! That’s borderline blasphemous. :)
That said, the only thing I might change in this is to add a little more fat to the crust. I was trying to keep this relatively low-cal which is why there is only 2T of fat in it, but let’s be honest, more fat = tastes better. Otherwise, this is a nice dinner version of everyone’s favorite dip–the 7 layer one! I decided to make the crust with cornmeal – something I love in my plasto - because corn just goes so well with Mexican/Tex-Mex dishes. This looks like a long process but it’s really not bad. You can make the beans while your crust bakes and your ground beef mixture right after. And, since everything is already cooked, the final baking of the pie is really only to melt the cheese. I went ahead and used the same pan for the beans and the meat and I already had the food processor out for the pie crust, so why not use it for the bean layer, too? This made for some easy cleanup on my part.
3/4 cup corn meal
1/4 cup masa harina or regular flour
1 T cold butter
1 T canola oil
pinch of salt and a little ground pepper
cold water or milk
Preheat the oven to 375.
Combine the corn meal, flour, butter, oil, salt & pepper in a food processor and pulse to combine. Slowly add a little cold water or milk until the consistency is such that you can pinch some of the mixture with your fingers and it sticks together a bit.
Spray a deep dish pie pan with a little cooking oil and then press the mixture into the dish to form a crust. Prebake for about 12 minutes and then set aside.
Black Beans – Layer 2 (Mmm, isn’t that a pretty picture? LOL)
This is the same way I make beans as a side, but this time I pureed them for more of a refried bean-like consistency.
1-2 tsp. canola oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/2 cup chicken broth
squeeze of fresh lime juice (optional)
Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the oil to a shimmer. Stir in the onions and cook until tender. Add garlic and tomato paste and saute an additional minute. Add the beans, chicken broth, bay leaf, cumin, chili powder and oregano. Simmer to combine flavors. Squeeze fresh lime juice in mixture if desired. Pulse the mixture in your food processor until it is a spreadable consistency. Of course you don’t HAVE to do this, but I just felt this was more dip-like.
Ground Beef – Layer 3
1 lb. ground beef or sirloin
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1.5 tsp. cumin
1.5 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
1/3 cup beef broth
salt and pepper
Brown the beef and the onion together until the beef is cooked and the onion is translucent. Drain the fat. To the pan add the garlic, sauteing until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer over low until thickened. Season to taste if necessary.
Cheese – Layer 4
1 cup shredded cheese
After you have layered the crust, beans, ground beef & cheese, bake the pie in the oven for about 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and everything is warmed through. Top with the remaining layers:
Sour cream – Layer 5
1/3 cup sour cream
Tomato – Layer 6
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
Olives – Layer 7
1/3 cup sliced olives
Okay, you got me. This piece doesn’t have sour cream on it (yet) because it was a leftover piece. Nor is it reheated. Congealed cheese, anyone? And the pic above? The reason it’s so close up is because I didn’t want to store the remaining pie with the sour cream on top. Who wants to eat hot sour cream when reheated? Not me.