From Nora’s Kitchen

8 Oct

Confession: I buy Rachel Ray’s Magazine two to three times a year. While I find it rather obnoxious that she features only herself on her cover (yes, it annoys me that Oprah does that too), the girl can cook and has some amazing recipes. I’d been staring at the recipe for the Quesadilla Casserole for about two weeks and finally on Monday, I decided it was time.

The good news: The ingredients are easy to find, vegetarian for those who are so-inclined, and not expensive. I bought everything I needed to make it for less than $11 bucks. It serves 5 to 6, though the recipe suggests it can serve four.

The bad news: Prep time is suggested to be 25 minutes. Maybe it’s because it’s the first time I made it or perhaps because my right hand wasn’t functioning very well thanks to the fall I took on Saturday, but it took me a bit longer than 25 minutes.

The ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • One 29-ounce can black beans, drained, 1/2 cup liquid reserved
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed (Chef Nora’s note: I used canned corn and it worked out just fine)
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (Chef Nora’s note: I used flaked parsley. Just make sure to reduce the amount you put in to about 1/4 cup)
  • Five 10-inch flour tortillas (Chef Nora’s Note: Next time I will try whole wheat tortillas or perhaps the crazy flavors you can buy now just to change it up a bit)
  • 8 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup store-bought green enchilada sauce
  • Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups black beans and mash into a chunky paste. Stir in the reserved liquid.
  • Grease a heavy, ovenproof skillet. In a bowl, combine the corn, parsley and remaining black beans. Place a tortilla in the skillet and spread with 1/3 cup mashed black bean mixture. Top with 2/3 cup corn-bean mixture and 1/2 cup cheese. Press to compress the layers. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, mashed black beans, corn-bean mixture and cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through, about 30 minutes. Transfer to the broiler and cook for 1 minute. Serve with the enchilada sauce.
  • I made this for my family on Monday evening and it was a huge hit. The enchilada sauce really goes a long way to adding subtle flavor to the dish. There are a ton of variations that one could try like adding shredded chicken or seasoned ground beef/turkey to the dish, tomatoes in addition to the Black Bean + Corn Mixture, add jalapenos to the top after baking. I will definitely make this dish again especially since we have a vegetarian in our family.

    (Side Note: I decided not to take any photos of the cooking process because while it’s a really delicious dish, it’s not so pretty to make. Mashed up Black Beans don’t look appetizing in photos so I left them out.)

    Bon Appetit!

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    13 Responses to “From Nora’s Kitchen”

    1. Margarita October 8, 2009 at 10:59 am #

      I rarely buy Racheal Ray’s mag, but I have in the past. My guilty pleasure magazine would have to be some kind of homemaker mag. Maybe once a year one of those mags will feature like 20 chocolate-inspired recipes, so I buy it, and then it sits on a shelf for 6 months and I throw it out.

      Your recipe sounds delicious!!

    2. SoMi's Nilsa October 8, 2009 at 11:08 am #

      Easy to make and delicious is sure to be a hit in my house, too! And I don’t blame you for not taking photos. Every time I cook and think of taking photos, my hands are usually covered in stuff I don’t want coming near my camera. Plus, unless it’s a complicated process, most people can read directions and figure it out on their own. Though, I would’ve loved to have seen the smiles on your family’s faces as they were chowing down! =)

    3. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair October 8, 2009 at 11:54 am #

      Hmmmmm, sounds great! I’ve been looking for some cheap, easy recipes to make while Eric is here this weekend and this one fits the bill perfectly!

    4. mandy October 8, 2009 at 12:09 pm #

      This sounds delicious and you know the more I thought about this after reading your tweet about it, the more I realized I had just eaten this the previous week. My stepsister makes this as a crockpot meal, my mom had gotten the recipe off of her and actually its quite tasty in the crock pot too!

    5. Alesia October 8, 2009 at 12:18 pm #

      I actually made this a couple of weeks ago! Two out of three kids ate it and liked it (one wouldn’t even try it). I rarely have success with her recipes, but this one worked. (BTW, she went to my high school — a few years behind me. I have no memory of her, unfortunately.)

    6. Little Fish October 8, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

      Chef Nora… I love it.

      I’m keeping my thoughts on that @#$% @$%^&*( #^$%& Rachel Ray to myself ;-)

    7. Kyla Roma October 8, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

      Love it! This sounds soooo tasty, we do slow cooker enchiladas that are similar & yummy as heck. I love a good home cooked meal- I crave them when I’m on holidays!

    8. katelin October 8, 2009 at 3:19 pm #

      oh this looks delicious! thanks for sharing.

    9. Chelsea October 8, 2009 at 3:51 pm #

      Anything involving black beans and cheese is a winner in my book!

    10. Kimmers October 8, 2009 at 7:59 pm #

      I might have to give this a shot… sounds yummy and very inexpensive! Nick would object to a few of the ingredients but I could always make him something else…

    11. Jessica October 8, 2009 at 10:44 pm #

      Oh my gosh this looks good. I might have to make it. do you have pictures of the final product?

    12. ashleystravel October 9, 2009 at 1:41 pm #

      You know, my husband always jokes that her “30 minute meals” always take 45 – 60 minutes. I think that she doesn’t every actually include the prep time (like chopping the onion and parsley).

    13. E.P. October 11, 2009 at 11:04 am #

      Oh, yum! I love me some quesadillas, and these sound perfect. I might have to give them a try!

      And it makes me smile that you get annoyed by Rachael Ray and Oprah only using themselves on the cover of their magazines. I feel the same way!

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