Galley: 1) the kitchen of a boat. Sally: 1) a venture off the beaten path, 2) a military action in which besieged troops burst forth from their position, 3) a witty remark.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bean Casserole w/ Hominy and Homemade Tortillas

I am always always on the look-out for good, healthy, cheap eats. I found the recipe for this casserole back in December 2009 while creating a two week meal plan. The meal plan goal was to make a wee amount of money for shopping, plus what I had in the cupboards, last for two weeks. The plan required lots of beans (and lentils), and this recipe is no exception.

The exception is that I didn't make it back in 2009. We were invited to a friend's for dinner on my designated "hominy" night. We let ourselves get a bit too excited about the prospect of eating a "non-legume" dish... and found ourselves sitting down to a delicious and prettily presented plate of rice and lentils. On the ride home we laughed about how we were in good company, and not alone in our meal planning.

That's the long story. The short story is that a can of hominy sat on my shelf for over a year, just waiting. Last week I opened it. Here's how it went.

Bean Casserole w/ Hominy and Homemade Tortillas

A quick note before getting started. I didn't intend to, but I broke this recipe up over two days. The first evening I made my tortillas and cooked my beans. Then my husband ran out the hatch to a nearly forgotten appointment. So, I kept those two items in the cooler until the following night. I would now recommend doing this, as it made the casserole assembly quick and easy the second night.

Adapted from Mark's Bitman's recipe
(You will see potato slices in my pics. Don't do it. They take too long to cook)

1 T. chili powder
4 cups drained cooked or canned beans, any type or mixture (I cooked black beans)
2 cups cooked hominy, drained
2 T. dried oregano
3 medium large tomatoes, sliced
1 1/2 onions large onions, sliced
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
8 homemade tortillas (~3 inch diameter)
salt and pepper to taste

1) Make tortillas! Or use store bought if you must. I have a bag of cornmeal mix specifically for tortillas, with directions on the back. The directions call for plastic wrap and a tortilla press, two things I don't have. I just make the dough and hand shape it. I haven't had much luck (so far) rolling or pressing with plates and such. I have tried. The dough STICKS. So, handshape, toss in pan, follow cooking directions for your mix. They aren't pretty, but they taste awesome.

2) Mix your cooked, drained beans and hominy together. Then place a layer of them in the bottom of a dutch oven. Pour 3/4 cup water over this layer (to help prevent burning). Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with a bit of the oregano.

3) Add a layer of tomatoes, one of onions and sprinkle a layer of cheese. Add a second layer of beans/hominy plus seasonings, then your layer of tortillas. Continue layering with tomatoes, onions and cheese as before.

4) Repeat until you have used up all of your ingredients, finishing with a nice layer of cheese. Cover, and turn heat to low. When all is bubbly hot and the cheese is melted, serve it up!

Remember, don't put potato in! I thought I would use one up, but it cooked way too slow. On the positive side, we had never tried hominy before, and we loved it. Also, the taste of homemade tortillas went a long way toward making this dish a good one. I don't think it would have been nearly as yummy with store bought ones.

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