Grit-Style Chilaquile Casserole


From The Grit Cookbook by Jessica Greene and Ted Hafer

Another way to enjoy Grit Pintos or, in a pinch, canned seasoned pinto beans. Ideally, toss on some Grit Salsa just before serving.

Grit Pintos:
1 quart dried pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
Water to soak and cook the beans
1 small or 1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 scant tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Additional water as necessary

Grit-style Chilaquile Casserole:
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small or 1/2 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 small zucchini, chopped (approximately 2 cups)
1 medium yellow squash, chopped (approximately 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon cumin power
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
5 soft taco-size (8-inch) flour tortillas (white or whole wheat), divided
4 cups shredded white cheddar cheese, divided
1 medium jalapeño pepper (or 2 if desired), minced
2 cups Grit Pintos or canned seasoned pinto beans
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon dry or prepared mustard

Grit Pintos:
1.Soak beans overnight, or for at least 6 hours, in water to cover (or boil beans for 2 minutes in water to cover and set aside, covered, to soak 2 hours).

2. Drain and rinse beans and combine with all other ingredients except salt in a large cooking pot. Add enough water to cover, plus 1 1/2 inches. Bring to a full boil, loosely covered. Reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until beans are very tender, 1 hour or more. If necessary, add water in small increments to avoid burning and maintain simmer. When beans are tender, add salt and stir well.

Makes approximately 12 cups.

Grit-style Chilaquile Casserole:
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 x 13-inch pan or glass casserole dish with 1 tablespoon butter and set aside.

2. In a large skillet or frying pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over high heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until onions are softened. Add zucchini, squash, dry spices, and salt. Tossing frequently for even cooking, sauté until vegetables are fully tender and onions are caramelized. Set aside.

3. Tear 3 tortillas by hand into random strips 2 to 3 inches wide. Distribute tortilla strips into bottom of casserole dish, layering evenly (retain remaining 2 tortillas for top crust). Spread 2 cups of shredded cheese over torn tortillas. Sprinkle minced jalapeño evenly over cheese, followed by a layer of the pinto beans. Spread sautéed vegetables over this, and top evenly with remaining cheese. Tear remaining 2 tortillas as before and distribute on top to form upper crust. Beat eggs together with buttermilk and mustard. Pour mixture over casserole and place in oven. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until bubbling at the edges and well browned on top. Cool for 10 minutes before serving. Top with Grit Salsa.

Makes 8 servings.