Happy 4th of July! By Rosie Hawthorne Kitchensaremonkeybusiness.com I have a special dish I make for any type of celebration - Memorial Day picnics, Labor Day parties, Neighborhood Block Parties, and, of course, the Fourth of July. It’s a layered tortilla dish with black beans, corn, and cheeses and it’s always a hit with everyone. If you want to make a quicker version of this, you could use canned corn instead of fresh, but when corn is in season, I go with fresh. As for beans, I always use dried beans – I don’t like canned. I must present this particular dish with a caveat: If you make this for an occasion, you will be expected to make it forever for subsequent occasions. Consider yourself forewarned. Rosie’s Corn And Black Bean Tortilla Pie 2 cups black beans, cooked (That’s one cup of dried beans.) 2 cups fresh corn (That’s about 3 ears.) 1 cup chopped onion 1⁄2 cup diced multicolored sweet peppers 3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese 3 cups pepper Jack cheese 3 cups grated cheddar cheese (One can never have too much cheese.) 2 TB unsalted butter, melted 1 tsp cumin 1 tsp cayenne powder 1 jalapeño, finely chopped 1 package extra large flour tortillas Whenever I cook beans, I don’t bother soaking them overnight. I pour the beans into boiling water, then reduce to simmer. Simmer about 25 minutes, drain and rinse the beans, refresh the water, return the beans to the pot, and simmer until just tender. According to Julia Child, refreshing the beans will help cut down on “intestinal motility.” I like my beans al dente, so about 25 more minutes of simmering. Taste test. Season with Kosher salt. Drain. For the corn, scrape the kernels off and sauté a couple of minutes in 1 TB unsalted butter and 1 TB oil over medium-high heat. Season with Kosher salt. In a bowl, combine beans, corn, onion, and peppers.Now you’re going to layer tortillas with the corn/bean mixture and cheese. Place a tortilla on a greased baking sheet and sprinkle cheese on it. Next, add a cup or so of the corn/bean mixture and top with more cheese. The cheese is the glue holding it together, so don’t be stingy. Add the next tortilla and repeat with the layers until you run out of everything. I always reserve some of the corn/bean mixture and cheese for sprinkling on the top layer. Here’s a tip for layering: Add a little extra filling around the outside of each layer. This helps to avoid “doming” when the pie cooks. When you get to the last layer, brush melted butter on top and sides. Dust top and sides with cayenne and cumin. Sprinkle reserved corn/bean mixture and grated cheese and jalapeño on top. I used 7 tortillas in all for this particular pie. Bake in a 325° oven for about 30 minutes or until it’s nicely browned on top. Check after 20 minutes, in case you need to tent it. Let rest about twenty minutes before slicing. Note: If there’s any left, it’s even better the second day. For more recipes, gardening shots, travelogues, and fun, please visit with Rosie at KitchensAreMonkeyBusiness.com. It’s a Southern front porch type of visit.
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