Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mushroom and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

Mushroom and Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

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Serves 4
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 pound cremini or button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups reserved cooked black beans from Spicy Black Bean Soup, or 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 corn tortillas, warmed and halved
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until browned, 7 minutes. Add garlic and cayenne; season with salt and pepper. Add black beans and stir to combine. Cook until beans are warmed through, 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Arrange 5 tortilla halves in a 2-quart baking dish. Top with half the bean mixture and 1/2 cup salsa, then sprinkle with one-third the cheese. Repeat with another layer of tortilla halves, bean mixture, salsa, and cheese. Top with remaining tortilla halves, salsa, and cheese. Cover with foil and bake until center is hot and cheese melts, 10 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese is bubbling, 5 minutes.
From Everyday Food, January/February 2011

If you find yourself short on time, or simply wanting to cook a fast and easy meal for dinner, then consider the mushroom and black bean tortilla casserole.  This dish can be spiced up by adding a hotter (and more sexy) salsa or a more mild (girl next door) blend.

The warm and spicy flavors in the casserole come from two ingredients: salsa and cayenne pepper, Capsicum annum.  Cayenne (sounds like the name of a woman, I think) got its name from a city in the French Guiana.  This pepper is known by some very unusual names such as, the cow horn pepper, bird pepper, aleva and Guinea spice.  Cayenne is often used in spicy dishes and is rated as having 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville Units (a measurement of the hotness). So the next time that you see an attractive person, you can rate them by the Scoville Unit analysis.  Or not?

In addition to its practical use in cooking, this spicy spice is known for having several health benefits.  Cayenne is high in vitamin A, B6, vitamin E, vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium and manganese.  Some experts even suggest mixing a quarter teaspoon of the spice in a glass of warm water.  Making this a daily regimen is thought to decrease a wide assortment of common diseases and ailments.  I'm up for trying that!

Here is a picture of a cayenne pepper.  It looks so much prettier growing on the plant than in those little bottles at the store.

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Photo Gallery

The cheese...Organic Valley is a great co-op of family farms. Check out this website to print out your very own coupons!
At first I was disappointed because the natural food section at Raley's was out of organic corn tortillas.  There was absolutely no way that I was buying conventional tortillas.  I swung by the conventional section just to check and sure enough they did have some.  Actually, they tasted really good!
We cook with a lot of black beans. 
Oh, Gabriel wanted me to take his picture.  I gave him the tortilla package to hold and this was how he decided to hold it.
Sauteing the mushrooms and black beans.
I tried to rally Sarah into the kitchen tonight but she was just too pooped.
The assembly station...getting ready to build the casserole.
A cheese layer.
A salsa layer.
A mushroom and black bean layer.
Salsa layer.
Sarah wanted a little cheese (she loves cheese).  I was trying to take the picture while feeding her. I was a little off. 
Daddy came home from work and she was in heaven.  Sarah's daddy's girl at heart.
Mmmmm... We are ready to eat!
~Dinner was served~


Jenny Cave said...

Looks delicious, I think I'll have to try it with some of my substitute cheese.

The Green Mama said...

This casserole would go great with the cheese substitute, Jenny. Let me know how it works. What brand of cheese substitute do you use?

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