Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Taco Torte

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen/Adapted from the Mom 100 Cookbook
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen
Serves 6

This is just fantastic and so much fun to make.  I think it would be a great dish to serve at a party.  And, it’s meatless!  Meat lovers won’t miss the meat, I promise.  I tested this recipe out on my husband and also my mother who was visiting recently.  They both LOVED it.  I think the kids would have fun helping with prep.

Nonstick cooking spray
1 Tablespoon olive, vegetable, or canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped small
1 clove garlic, minced
1 fresh chile pepper, chopped small (I used bits of leftover bell peppers that I had in the fridge plus a jalapeno.)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 ½ teaspoons chili powder (adjust to taste)
1 can (14 ounces) chopped tomatoes, undrained
¼ cup tomato paste
2 cans (15.5 ounces each) black, red or kidney beans (or a mixture of any two), drained and rinsed
Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1½ cups corn kernels, fresh (from 1 to 2 ears) or frozen and thawed
3 cups (about 2¾ ounces) rough-chopped baby spinach leaves
6 medium-size (8-inch) whole-wheat flour tortillas (although corn should work too)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese (I used a mixture of pepper cheese and white cheddar.)
Chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream or plain yogurt and/or salsa for serving (optional)

Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a 9-inch round cake pan or cast-iron skillet tightly with foil and spray it with a nonstick spray. Or, you can coat a 9-inch springform with nonstick spray or use a parchment round and skip the foil, since the torte is easier to remove from a springform.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, fresh chile pepper (if using), cumin, chili powder, and cook until you can smell the spices and the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and the tomato paste, then stir in the beans. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the bean mixture simmer until everything is hot, about 3 minutes. Add the corn and spinach and stir until the spinach has wilted and everything is well blended and hot, about 3 minutes.
Place 1 tortilla in the prepared pan. Spread one-sixth (just eyeball it) of the bean and vegetable mixture evenly over the tortilla, then sprinkle ¼ cup of the shredded cheese evenly over the top. Repeat with 5 more layers, ending with the last of the bean mixture and shredded cheese.
Bake the tortilla stack until it is hot throughout and the top is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Let the it sit at room temperature for 5 minutes, before removing it from the pan, either by carefully lifting the foil that lines the pan or by opening the springform sides. Cut it into wedges using a sharp knife and serve it with a spatula or better yet a pie server. Sprinkle the top with cilantro, if desired, and serve with sour cream or plain yogurt and/or salsa on the side, if you like.

The torte also reheats well.
All the ingredients prepped in advance and ready to go.

This Taco Torte is easy to assemble.  Just layer away!

Here's the Taco Torte right out of the oven.

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