Friday, February 27, 2009

Mexican Squash Casserole

Last weekend, a look down in our basement pantry told us that we still had a BOATLOAD of winter squash to eat before we start mowing down on delicacies like fresh spring asparagus. So, we decided we'd better get back on the squash bandwagon. Fortunately for us, squash is a pretty versatile veggie.

Unfortunately, after eating it as a side dish, throwing it into chili, making it the star of a Thai-style curry, and pureeing batches and batches of it for soup, we were pretty tapped out on the idea front. Fortunately, a handful of kitchen staples came to the rescue.

We happened to have a handful of kale, the end of a bag of frozen corn, a can of black beans, some onions, and a few stale tortilla chips lying around. Without thinking too hard about it, I decided we might be able to create a reasonably decent dinner.

I cubed up the squash, tossed it with olive oil and chili powder, and tossed it in the oven for about 25 minutes to roast. Meanwhile, I sauteed the kale with an onion and a few cloves of garlic. I added a bit of cumin, some red pepper flakes, and a teaspoon or two of Mexican oregano.

When the squash was finished roasting, we threw everything together with the frozen corn and the black beans. It made a lovely little melange.
A grating of cheese and a sprinkling of crunched tortilla chips, and we were ready to throw the impromptu casserole into the oven.
We each took a big scoop of the finished casserole -- which was just cheesy enough to attract Paul's attention, and colorful enough to make me want to take a series of photos. But it didn't just look great, it also smelled fantastic. Sweet and smoky, with a hint of toasted corn from the chips, we were pretty intrigued. I blobbed a bit of fresh avocado on mine and took a taste.
I have to be honest, I wasn't expecting much from this dish. I had little doubt it would be edible, but I had absolutely no idea it would become what Paul affectionately calls a "kickasserole". This was seriously good impromtu food -- pretty healthy, chock full of veg and fiber, and seriously delish. I probably don't need to tell you that we mowed quite happily that night.

And then, we mowed again -- eating the succulent leftovers the next morning. Prepared quite simply with an egg on top, some sour cream, and a liberal sprinkling of siracha... this casserole made some seriously good brunch food.

Who knew all that "leftover" squash could taste this good?

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16 comments:

  1. Wow, I think this just sounds terrific. It really looks delicious. I love that expression kickasserole. The BEST!

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  2. Mmmmm, we can smell this! Smells like heaven on a plate!

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  3. This looks so delicious, and colorful too!

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  4. How inventive! Love the reuse of the dish...NICE ONE!

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  5. Nicely done! I love just throwing things together and having them come out great. :)

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  6. It looks great! I'd eat it in a heartbeat!

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  7. MMMMMM.... I can nearly smell it trough my MAC!!!!

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  8. This looks and sounds great! I love the BURP! headliner, I also blog about TMI stuff, as well as food...

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  9. This dish looks amazing. Great combo of flavours. Just to let you know my case of Red Gold tomatoes arrived today that I won in the giveaway!!! Thank you so much. I just have to decide what to make. It needs to be special since they were shipped so far.

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  10. I love it! Now this is true cooking ... figuring something out based on what you've got! I totally agree with your hubby's name for this dish ... total YUM!

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  11. Wow, that looks so good - I especially love the leftover breakfast!

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  12. Lo, you are an inspiration!

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  13. Great colours here Lo and it's quite healthy as well.

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  14. Tried this as a stripped-down version - no black beans, substituted refries. And no corn or tortilla crunch. I used a carnival squash. It took much longer than 25 minutes in the oven (more like 50, and I was cranking up the heat periodically, starting at 350 and finishing at 400. It was still very, very good. Thanks for the tips!

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  15. John -
    Glad you enjoyed.
    FYI - I generally roast my cubed squash at 425ºF (usually convection) -- it caramelizes nicely and finishes in 25-30 minutes. You can certainly roast at a lower temperature, but it definitely takes longer.

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