Monday, October 6, 2008

Black Bean Nachos

This is my standby meal, the one l I pull out on nights when I have to work late or if we're running low on groceries. The basic recipe was generated not long after we got married and I was trying to stretch our grocery budget by planning meatless meals. Back then, I would cook a can of black beans in orange juice to cover and a 1/2 cup salsa. I would boil this mixture, stirring often, until all the liquid was absorbed. Then I would sprinkle the beans over tortilla chips, and top with cheese. This would bake at 400° until the cheese was melted. Over the years, I've evolved the ingredients a bit, but I still use the original ones sometimes. Following is the recipe I made tonight. I didn't leave work until 6:30, and we were eating by 7:15 (this even included frying our own tortilla chips). Both versions are yummy.—PHH

Beef-and-Black Bean Nachos
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 lb. ground sirloin
1 tsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (10-oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chiles
1 tsp. dried cilantro or 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (10-oz.) package frozen corn
Tortilla chips*
1 (4-oz.) package Cheddar or Colby-Jack cheese, shredded
Toppings: sour cream, salsa, guacamole

1. Sauté first 3 ingredients in hot oil until onion is tender and beef is cooked and crumbled. Stir in cumin and next 6 ingredients. Cook until liquid is absorbed.
2. Cover a jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil. Arrange tortilla chips in pan. Spoon beef-and-bean mixture over chips. Sprinkle with cheese.
3. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with desired toppings.

* Making homemade tortilla chips is super simple. Purchased ones are fine, but once you make your own, it will be hard to go back. Homemade ones are much sturdier, which is great for this application. To make tortilla chips, cut the desired number of corn tortillas into six triangles per tortilla. (I use kitchen shears.) Pour peanut oil to a depth of 1 inch in the bottom of a Dutch oven; heat oil over medium-high heat. Once oil has come to temperature, drop tortillas into oil in batches, and cook until crispy and golden. Drain on paper towels. After all chips have been cooked, sprinkle lightly with salt. (Note: Corn tortillas are pretty salty on their own, so minimal salt is needed.)


Leah said...

I also love fresh lime juice stirred into a can of black beans, even just as a side dish.

Just Us Chix said...

How can someone who doesn't cook be completely obsessed with your blog? It fascinates me and I am trying the Blue Cheese Pasta for JT's homecoming this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes! ~A