For someone who loves to cook, I think I hate the grocery store more than most. It’s the vastness of the place, packed to the rafters with sad styrene-trayed meat, haggard vegetables and colourful but inedible foodstuffs. It’s the people too. Especially around six o’clock. The hoards seem as wilted as the vegetables and as close to going off as the discounted beef.
A rather depressing day at work, followed by a trip to the gym and a freezing cold day makes the grocery store unfaceable. It’s time for a kitchen sink style meal. Tortilla pie is perfect for this. Tortillas store well, even if you buy fresh ones instead of Old El Paso you can store them in the freezer. A couple cans of beans and some cheese always seem to be floating around at our house, along with some onions and garlic. The rest of this dish can be thoroughly improvised to use up whatever happens to be taking up room in the refrigerator.
Below is the version we ate tonight.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 cup beer
- Salt and pepper
- 4 flour tortillas, trimmed to fit a 23 centimetre (9 inch) springform pan
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 1 bunch spinach leaves, wilted, stemmed and chopped, or baby spinach left as is
- Chopped spring onions (scallions) for garnish
- Heat oven to 190°C (375°F).
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, jalapeno and garlic and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato and the cumin and cook until the tomatoes release their juices, 3-4 minutes.
- Add the beans and the beer to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce down to a simmer and cook until the liquid has evaporated, 5 minutes or so.
- Meanwhile, grate the cheddar cheese and prepare the spinach.
- Put one tortilla in the base of the pan. Top with one third of the bean mixture, 1/3 of the spinach and half a cup of cheese. Repeat three times. Cover the final tortilla with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.
- Pop the pie in the oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and the edges of the tortillas are crisp.