I was talking with a friend the other day who has just moved back from Australia. Yes, I know - the down under seems so lovely, right? WHY would you leave?!
Well, I'll tell you why (not that this was her reason. It would have been mine, though). There's no Mexican food. And if there is, they include balsamic vinegar in their most commonly used ingredients, which is a wam-bam-no-thank-you-ma'am in my book.
I went home that night craving rice, beans, and some taco flavor in a BIG way. I feel so lucky to have all those ingredients at my beck and call, especially since the man needs those to essentially remain a thriving human being.
This was so simple to make. I actually had some cooked rice already in the fridge from the night before, which cut down on some time. As with many of my recipes, please add in what ingredients you love to eat the most. I used tomatoes, leeks, mushrooms, onions and black beans since that's what I had on hand. As long as you get that taco seasoning in, it will be a pie-dish full of that wonderful South-of-the-border taste.
Makes one standard 9-inch pie dish
1.5 cups cooked white rice, hot
1/5 cup chopped leek
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degree; grease your pie dish.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the hot rice, eggs, and 2 tablespoons of the chopped leeks. Spread this mixture on the bottom and up the sides of the pie dish, as you would a pie crust. Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes while you prepare the filling.
3. For the filling, pour some olive oil in a medium-sized skillet and heat over medium heat. When the oil is hot, dump in the onions and remaining leeks. Let cook for about 5 minutes, then add in the mushrooms and taco seasoning. Give it a stir and let cook while you mash the black beans.
4. Dump your black beans in the bowl you used to make the rice mixture. Mash the beans with a fork until they are mostly mushy, with a few recognizable chunks.
5. Once the onion and mushroom mixture is cooked and soft, add it to the beans. Stir it all up nice. By this time, your rice crust should be ready to come out of the oven - it should be slightly hardened. Add the filling to it and smooth out.
6. Place the sliced tomatoes on top, cut side down, and cover with cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes, until cheese has melted and it's all nice and hot. Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting.