Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Black Bean Chilaquile

The first time I made this dish from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites, I couldn't help thinking of it as a Tex-Mex lasagna.
Black Bean Chilaquile

Here is one of our favorite casseroles. The cooks at Moosewood always try to make more Chilaquile than the customers can possibly order so the staff won't be disappointed at the end of the shift. Chilaquile is colorful, jumping with flavor, and filling to boot.

1 cup chopped onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (15-ounce can, drained)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups rinsed, stemmed, and chopped Swiss chard or spinach
2 cups crushed baked tortilla chips
8 ounces grated fat-free sharp Cheddar cheese
2 cups prepared Mexican-style red salsa or Blender Hot Sauce (page 358)

Preheat the oven to 350°. Sauté the onions in the oil for about 8 minues, until translucent. Stir in the tomatoes, corn, black beans, lime juice, salt, and pepper and continue to sauté for another 5 to 10 minutes, until just heated through.

Meanwhile, in another saucepan, blanch the greens in boiling water to cover for 1 to 3 minutes, until just wilted but still bright green. Drain immediately and set aside.

Prepare an 8x8-inch casserole dish or baking pan with a very light coating of oil or cooking spray. Spread half of the crushed tortilla chips on the bottom. Spoon the sautéed vegetables over the tortilla chips and sprinkle on about two-thirds of the grated Cheddar. Arrange the greens evenly over the cheese and spoon on half of the salsa. Finish with the rest of the tortilla chips and top with the remaining salsa and Cheddar. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown.

Serves 4 to 6
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Baking time: 35-40 minutes
If you happened to choose Salsa Mexicana or Salsa Borracha, I think you'd be well served.

I like that Moosewood is careful to capitalize Cheddar, but I have a hard time doing so myself when looking at using a low-fat or fat-free cheese. Don't get me wrong: I've made this dish exactly as written, more than once. But fat helps cheese melt in pleasant melty cheesy ways, so if you're not being manic about your fat intake, consider replacing at least some of the cheese here with the real stuff.

Chilaquiles are often served as breakfast food, and I can imagine this casserole on a brunch table quite nicely. Some suggest it's good hangover food, but I think I'll stick with my McDonald's sausage biscuit for that. Personal cures aside, I think this would be a great dish on the way to a hangover, too -- would be good with beer, or margaritas (rocks, not frozen), or sangria.

Like most casseroles, this is a heck of an option for a potluck. It freezes well, so it's also good for any time you'd like to stock someone's freezer to ease up on the pressures of life (new parents, anyone?) -- it's tasty, comfort-foody, and darned healthy.

No comments:

Post a Comment