Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cheezy bean and rice cass

Tonight my dad is having a party for his running friends. They are running around a park that is decorated with extreme Christmas lights. Then they are coming back for dinner, they are all running in monogrammed santa hats! So, I decided I would make a casserole. I created this recipe myself and I made it last night for my mother and myself so I would know what to adjust, and believe me there was a fair amount!

Serves: about 6-8 depending on portion size
Prep time: 1 Hour (seems like a lot but most of it is waiting for rice to cook and I haven't gotten the hang of multi-tasking in the kitchen yet, so it may be quicker for you)
Cooking time: 20 minutes (10 covered, 10 uncovered)
Preheat to 350

Olive oil (for greasing pan, just in case)
1 cup semi/mostly drained black beans
1 cup semi/mostly drained kidney beans
4 tablespoons of black olives (diced or sliced, add more or less depending on your taste)
~3 tablespoons Taco Seasoning
~4 tablespoons Onion Powder
~3 tablespoons White Rice Vinegar
~1.5 tablespoons Soy Sauce (some are prepared using isinglass, which is not vegan, be careful)
~3 tablespoons White Cooking Wine
(for all of the above approximates, I used the taco seasoning and onion powder in between each time I used liquids, they are approximates because I did it on looks and taste, make sure to taste yours as well)
1 Tortilla (sliced in half)
3/4 Cup of Water (for rice)
1/2 Cup of Brown Rice (I would use a little more but definitely not 2/3 I poured a smidge less than 2/3 and I had some leftover)
Pinch of salt
1.5-2 cups of Daiya Mozza Shreds (I only had 1 cup, I used 1/2 in the mixture and the other 1/2 between layers and as toppings, I would have liked more)
Tortilla Chips

Rice Directions:
Boil 3/4 cup of water with 1/2 cup brown rice and a pinch of salt, turn down heat, cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes, I would check in at 15 minutes. The first night (also my first time making rice, I overcooked it and it was a mess!) I wanted my rice a littler crunchier but not too much, the first night it was too crunchy, tonight I think it's better.

Filling Directions:
It is okay for it to be liquidy, this will allow it to soak
into the chips and will leave it moist while baking
Mix beans and black olives. Sprinkle taco seasoning and onion powder over mix, stir. Add two or three splashes of white rice vinegar and two splashes of soy sauce. Dust your mixture with taco seasoning and onion powder again (I like doing it this way because it allows you to adjust after each addition) Add about two splashes of white cooking wine. (again, do this to taste) Do one final dusting of taco seasoning and onion powder if you'd like. Now, add in 3/4-1 cup of Daiya mozza shreds. This will help your casserole stay together better (the first night I didn't add it into the mixture and it kinda all fell apart, which is fine it still tasted yummy!) Add rice and stir!

Prepping the pan: 
Grease with olive oil, just to be on the safe side. Take your tortilla halves and place them in the pan so the the straight sides are against the edge.

The first night I kept the beans separate
to make sure they both tasted good
Pour your filling over the tortillas, use a little less then half (it's shocking how it doesn't look even later)

Cover this layer with Daiya, disregard my earlier comment in an earlier post about being sparse with Daiya, using plenty helps with congealing.

Crunch tortilla chips over this layer and then pour your final layer on top, spread evenly and cover with Daiya and more black olives (I didn't think of this, but would have been a nice aesthetically pleasing touch) 

If you let it sit for a bit before putting it into the oven, it will allow the chips to get a little soggy and won't be as crunchy. I like it this way.

Cover with aluminum foil and place in oven at 350 for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 5-10 minutes, or till you think it looks good. 

Let sit for a bit so it can cool and congeal and also let the chips get a little more moist.

Update: Sitting seems to be the best option to keep it together, the cheese didn't really do much to it as far as keeping it together. However, you could try using the same cheese sauce used to make the mac n cheese, that could help. 

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