We’re not really in the casserole season yet are we? It was actually cool (well it wasn’t in the upper 90′s) and so we’re finally feeling like warm food again. Nothing heavy, but some warm oven goodness nonetheless. We had all the staple Mexi-fixins in the pantry so a warm, layered tortilla pie was on the menu. These are so easy. Butter some tortillas, layer them in no particular order, and bake. Best part is the helpings are massive, so it easily makes enough for two meals. I love leftovers when the weather is so nice. I’d rather be outside enjoying weather that doesn’t feel like it’s trying to kill me.
4 large flour tortillas
3 cups grated cheese, I recommend sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack
1 cup rice, prepared according to instructions
1 can beans, cooked (we used black beans)
2 cups spinach, chopped and coated lightly with salt and vinegar or a light Italian dressing
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, your choice, diced or chopped finely
Chiles, peppers, or pickled jalapenos, sliced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the bottoms and sides of a baking dish, which optimally should be the same size as your tortillas. In my case this wasn’t possible, so I just origami-style folded my tortillas to fit.
2. Butter and place one tortilla on the bottom of the pie dish, and sprinkle some cheese over it. Add a layer of each filling ingredient (cheese, rice, tomatoes, spinach, beans, onions and peppers) and continue buttering each tortilla and layering ingredients. You can go as high as you want, we stopped at four layers. Don’t forget to season each layer with a bit of chili powder! Top off your layers with one last flour tortilla. Spread a little butter over the surface of this tortilla.
3. Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake in oven for 30 minutes at 350°F. Remove the foil and crank the temperature to 400°F. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven. Let stand for 10 minutes. Cut into quarters.
Serve with chopped avocados, cilantro, salsa, and/or sour cream.
Makes four servings
We love this dish for the same reason we adore non-traditional lasagnas. You can really put anything in it and it will come out great. Have a half-jar of mushrooms in your fridge? Throw it in! Squash? Sure, why not! You really can’t go wrong with this and it’s a great way to use up the bits and pieces of things that sometimes end up leftover from other meals. Seasoned shredded chicken or pork would be awesome if you wanted to make it meaty. The sky is the limit and while it’s nice, hot and hearty, it won’t put you into a coma.