I get that whole wheat and “natural” products cost more. I don’t like it, but I get it. Once, I was in a grocery store and wanted to buy a bottle of iced tea. The unsweetened kind (aka the one that has tea leaves and citric acid) cost $0.40 more than the sweetened kind (which has like 10 ingredients). They were the same brand, of course.
Brown rice? Costs more than white. Whole wheat bread? Costs more than the enriched kind, even though the “enrichments” add like 50 ingredients.
But what really kills me is when the product is not only more expensive, but smaller, too. For the love of God why is it SO HARD to find a box of whole wheat pasta that weighs a pound? I am sick of this 12.5 and 13.5 oz. bullshit. If you’re going to charge me extra, fine, but can you at least give me the same amount? Have you ever seen a recipe that calls for 13.5 oz. of pasta? NO.
This time, though, those puny “large” tortillas made with whole wheat were actually beneficial. You see, with a 10 inch tortilla, you need to trim it to fit a springform pan. But with one that’s only about 8.5″ if you’re measuring generously? No trimming necessary. I’ll just pretend the extra money I spent on them was a trade-off for my time.
I realized just as I was about to make this that I didn’t have anywhere near the amount of corn called for (honestly, I just assume I always have at least 1 full bag of corn in the freezer. My bad.) I ended up using what I had (about 1 scant cup) and then added about another cup of frozen tricolored peppers. I would just make it this way again next time, because it adds some more flavor (and color) and also cuts down a bit on the starchiness of this dish, which already has the tortillas, beans, and corn.
This is a filling dish that’s just a bit different from your standard “Mexican lasagna” (or “enchilada brick” as Tom so hilariously refers to it). It’s easy to make and fairly quick, especially if you make the bean mixture ahead of time.
(By the way, if you live in IL, or want to order online, check out Majave habanero hot sauce. It’s quickly become one of my favorites!)
Tortilla and Black Bean Pie
Adapted from Martha Stewart
4 (9-10″) flour tortillas
1 Tbsp. canola oil
1 large onion
1 jalapeno, minced (remove or leave seeds and ribs to your preference)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 (15 oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
12 oz. beer
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen tri-colored bell peppers (or another vegetable of your choice, or just more corn)
4 scallions, thinly sliced (plus additional for garnish)
8 oz. shredded cheddar (I got away with about 6-7 oz. and used 2% cheese)
Preheat the oven to 400. Spray a springform pan with a little cooking oil. If necessary, trim your tortillas to fit into the pan, using the bottom of the pan as a guide. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, jalapeno, garlic, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the beans and beer, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer until the beer is almost completely evaporated, 8-10 minutes. Stir in the peppers until warm. Add the corn and scallions. Remove from heat, and season to taste.
Fit a tortilla in the bottom of the springform pan. Layer with 1/4 of the bean mixture, followed by 1/2 cup of cheese. Repeat layering 3 times, finishing with 3/4-1 cup of cheese on top.
Bake 20-25 minutes, until cheese melts. Let rest 5 minutes before removing from pan, sprinkling with scallions, and slicing into wedges.