Friday, February 27, 2009
Mexican Squash Casserole
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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