From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...For the next few weeks, the recipes I'll be highlighting are for dishes that I call grandma food. We are vacationing and surround by family, so the food I'll be featuring throughout July will be simple and family oriented. I'm going to try and scale back the recipes I post to just six servings, but should you suddenly have a gang to feed and want to expand them, a simple double or triple of ingredients is workable and will do the trick. The tortilla pie I'm featuring today is really meant for the peanut gallery. All moms and gradmoms have to deal with the dreaded "It's too spicy" wail at dinner time. While we have one imp who thinks oatmeal is too spicy, this pie should help with the general population. It can be made completely without heat for the little ones and revved up for fire eaters who share your table. Obviously, the fire here is controlled by the amount of red pepper flakes that are called for in the recipe. The Silver Fox calls this his pseudo-Mexican pie. However, I'm duty bound to report that, in reality, it is Martha Stewart's pseudo-Mexican pie, but it is equally important that you be told her pie makes a really nice, though light, meal for a family. It is a simple dish to make and requires no special equipment, save for a springform pan. The world, by the way, will not end should you have to substitute some other type of dish. I made this for lunch today in a foil lasagna pan, so, obviously, the recipe can be adapted to circumstance and location. If you are looking for a light family entree, I hope you'll giver this dish a try.There's nothing here not to like. Here's how the tortilla pie is made.
Tortilla Pie...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Martha Stewart
4 flour tortillas (10-inch)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for pan
1 cup chopped onion
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 pound ground beef sirloin
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 package (10-oz.) frozen corn kernels (shoepeg corn if possible)
1 (6-oz.) package fresh baby spinach, torn into pieces
2 cups (8-oz.) shredded Monterey or Pepper Jack cheese
Fresh cilantro sprigs, for garnish (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a paring knife, trim tortillas to fit a 9-inch springform pan (use bottom of the pan as a guide). Assemble pan with bottom upside down; lightly oil bottom and sides. Set aside.
2) In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, cumin, and red-pepper flakes; season with salt and pepper. Cook until onion has softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste. Raise heat to medium-high; add beef and garlic. Cook, breaking up meat with a spoon until no longer pink, 4 to 6 minutes. Add corn and spinach; stir until spinach has wilted, about 2 minutes.
3) Place one tortilla in the prepared pan. Spreading evenly, top with 1-1/2 packed cups beef mixture, then 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat with two more layers. Top with last tortilla, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
4) Bake pie until top is lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Run knife around edge of pan; remove sides. Using two wide metal spatulas, lift pie from bottom of pan, and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into wedges. If desired, serve with cilantro and sour cream. Yield: 4 to 5 servings.
Cook's Note: Turning the bottom of the springform pan upside down makes it easier to remove pie after baking.
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