Black Bean Chilaquiles: Spice it Up, Change it Up!

As much as I like to create routines for myself and plans for events and outings, deep down crave change. This is especially true when it comes to food. There are some people who are perfectly content eating their favorite meal or food combinations day after day, and I really do think that’s fine if you’re that kind of person, but it just isn’t for me. I want new flavors, new ingredients, new combinations.

I made this black bean chilaquile for dinner one night when L was visiting, and I liked it for that very reason – sure, it used Mexican flavors and ingredients, which is something I’ve done numerous times before, but it was in a form that I had never tried. Tortillas, in a casserole? Not that it sounded weird (it takes a lot more than that to weird me out with food!), but it wasn’t something I had considered before.

I made my own tortilla chips because ever since I learned how I’ve been addicted, but it’s possible that they weren’t crispy enough. The ones I make always err on the side of chewy with a slight crunch, as opposed to the store bought ones that you can hear someone chomping down on from a mile away. I still really enjoyed the meal, but there wasn’t as much of a sharp contrast between textures as I think there was meant to be, or at least as I had hoped there would be. Next time I would also definitely up the veggies (surprised?) and potentially reduce the black bean filling and/or tomatoes.

Black Bean Chilaquile, courtesy of Dana Treat
Yield: 6 servings

The Ingredients
olive oil, to coat the pan
1 medium onion, diced
15 ounces diced tomatoes, drained well
1 ½ cups frozen corn
15 ounces black beans, drained
2 tablespoons lime juice
freshly ground black pepper
5 ounces fresh spinach or Swiss chard
2 cups crushed baked tortilla chips1
¾-1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
2 cups red salsa of your choice2

The Method
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat enough olive oil to coat a large skillet or sauté pan over medium heat, and add the onions to sauté until translucent, 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, corn, black beans, lime juice, and pepper, cooking for another 5-10 minutes to heat through.

Meanwhile, wilt the spinach in a separate ban, working in batches if necessary; set aside.

Lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking dish and spread half of the tortilla chips across the bottom. Spoon the tomato mixture on top, followed by 2/3 of the cheese, then all of the greens, and half of the salsa. Add the remaining tortilla chips and top it all off with the leftover salsa and cheese. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and just starting to brown.

1To make your own tortilla chips, you can check out my Cinco de Mayo post
2I used a recipe from Closet Kitchen


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