Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Three Corn Casserole (Still Baking #4)

Today I had my first day of maternity leave, and it was blissful. I still woke up at 4:30 a.m. (oops) but lazed on the couch for a few hours afterwards, had a good snuggle with the Emperor, helped him get ready for preschool, went downtown and had a long leisurely coffee and did a bit of knitting, walked for an hour and ended up somewhere in SC I've never been before (Neary Lagoon, a beautiful little wildlife preserve/park), ate a bagel, and went to the farmer's market. At the market, I ran into my friends Amey and Sophia, which was a great surprise! It made a good day even better.

I mentioned that I was buying a few things (no spoilers!) at the market to use in this month's theme and Amey was surprised-- she said she thought I'd be doing all breads and cookies. Ha! Tempting! But I'm baking a few non-sweeties this month too, including tonight's dinner.

This is something I just slapped together but it turned out really well, so I'm going to post the recipe. It owes an inspirational debt to the tortilla casserole recipe in Viva Vegan by Terry Hope Romero, one of my all time favorite cookbooks. I made that tortilla casserole many many moons ago and have thought of it many many times since... this is sort of like a lazier, cornier version of it with stuff I had on hand.

3 corn casserole

Three Corn Casserole
Serves 6-8

1c prepared enchilada sauce
1c leftover spaghetti sauce
(or another combo of red sauces, it doesn't really matter)
1 bunch swiss chard, chopped

1 batch cashew ricotta from Veganomicon
(or 2c of your favorite tofu/nut ricotta)

6 small corn tortillas
1 tube prepared polenta
1/2c coarsely crushed tortilla chips

1. Preheat oven to 375F and get out a large baking dish (I used a large oval dish, but your standard 9x13 should work here as well).
1. Combine your sauces and swiss chard in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
2. Simmer til swiss chard is tender and sauces are combined, about 5 minutes.
3. Remove sauce from heat.
4. Spoon about 1/2c of your sauce into bottom of baking dish.
5. Lay down 2 of the corn tortillas.
6. Spread a layer of cashew ricotta over the tortillas.
7. Crumble a layer of polenta on top of the ricotta.
8. Pour another 1/2c of sauce over the polenta layer.
9. Repeat steps 5-8 til you run out of sauce. You should have some cashew ricotta leftover at this point.
10. Cover baking dish with tinfoil and bake for 20 minutes.
11. Pull dish out and plop on the remaining ricotta by the small spoonful.
12. Sprinkle crushed chips over the top of the dish.
13. Bake for another 15 minutes.

Et voila! Lazy but tasty (and extraordinarily filling) tortilla casserole. We all really enjoyed it-- even the Emperor, who generally will not eat anything where the ingredients are mixed together like this but made an exception for a dish that contained tofu, polenta, tortillas, AND tortilla chips-- and have a ton leftover to put in the freezer for baby time. My only regret is the sauce... I wish I'd bought enough enchilada sauce to use that entirely instead of having to cut it with the spaghetti sauce, which was fine but reduced the flavor overall.

The Emperor did still ask for snack before bed (a demand we almost never acquiesce to; my general feeling is that he should eat enough at dinner to not be hungry again before bed) and since he had eaten a legit amount of dinner, he did get a cookie. Here he is enjoying it:

Eating a cookie

1 comment:

forkandbeans said...

Your day yesterday sounded like heaven. Why can't ALL days be like that??? Now, I'm putting 3 Corn Casserole on my dinner menu for the week :)