Sex and the City and Tortilla Pie (with easy-poached eggs!)

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Back in my single days, I was a Manhattan gal.

Oh, those wild and carefree days of living in my deluxe high-rise apartment! Enjoying my Cosmos and wearing my Manolo Blahniks and waltzing past velvet ropes into Bungalow 8….

No. Not really.

I was always more of a beer at the dive bar over a game of pool kind of girl, and I lived in a walk up railroad style apartment that totaled about 450 square feet. For a two bedroom. My kitchen was about the size of my current closet, and trust me, my closet isn’t all that big. I ate out a lot more often.

Living in Hell’s Kitchen, there was no shortage of amazing places to grab a bite to eat, and I was fortunate enough to live right near a little gem of a place called The Little Pie Company. You may have heard of it…its one of those places that seems to always be featured on a Food Network or PBS special. My old roomie and I used to run in after working out at our gym, with the quest of replenishing every calorie we had just burned. It wasn’t hard. Being more of a savory-fanatic, I usually eschewed the signature fruit pies for something from their prepared food case, and 9 times out of 10, my choice was Tortilla Pie.

It wasn’t until I watched Dave Lieberman creating his version of a breakfast enchilada casserole that I remembered Tortilla Pie. And then it all came to me – Tortilla Pie would be an amazing veggie fake-out.

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Kitty’s Tortilla Pie
makes 6 servings

1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 – 3 canned chipotle peppers, chopped well
1 & 1/3 cup crushed tomatoes (1/2 of a 28oz can)
1 can black beans, rinsed
6 white corn tortillas
6 – 8 ounces shredded cheese (I used a reduced-fat blend of cheddar, jack & mozzarella)
salt
olive oil
easy-poached eggs, to top
chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large pan, soften the onion and red pepper in some olive oil with a pinch of salt. For a successful veggie fake-out, make sure you dice your vegetables small. Add the teaspoon of cumin to the pan, and stir to incorporate.

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Step 2: Add 1 chipotle pepper for mild, 2 for medium and 3 for hot. I went with 2, and I made sure to chop them very well, until they almost formed a paste. Do NOT touch your eyes if your fingers come in contact with the peppers. Add the peppers to the pan and stir.

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Step 3: Add the tomatoes to the pan, bring to a boil, and add the black beans. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pan, and allow to simmer while you prepare the tortillas.

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Step 4: On a gas burner, cook your corn tortillas around 30 seconds per side, using cooking tongs to handle the tortillas. The tortilla will bubble and darken around the edges while they toast. If you do not have a gas burner, use a dry cast-iron pan to cook the tortillas until they are slightly charred.

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Step 5: You are now ready to begin assembling your pie. Spread a scoop of the bean mixture over the bottom of a pie dish.

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Step 6: Use 3 corn tortillas to create a layer on top of the bean mixture.

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Step 7: Cover with half the cheese. Repeat with another layer of tortillas, and top that with the rest of the bean mixture. Cover with remaining cheese.

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Step 8: Place in the preheated oven for 10 – 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

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Step 9: Use a sharp knife to carve slices of the pie, using a wide pie server or spoon to get the portions out of the pie plate. Remember: Tortilla Pie is for people, not cats.

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Step 10: Are you ready to eat? Then its time to make your easy-poached eggs. Add a few drops of water to a medium sized ramekin or custard cup, and crack an egg into the cup. Microwave on high for 35 seconds. Voila! Easy-poached eggs.

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Step 11: Top the individual slices of Tortilla Pie with a poached egg, and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.

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Some notes on easy-poached eggs: Every microwave is different, and I get the best results when I only poach one egg at a time using this method. You may want to use the more traditional boiling water and white vinegar method if making multiple servings, to insure everyone gets a yolk that is cooked to desired doneness.

There is so much healthiness going on in this Tortilla Pie, I don’t know where to begin. Did you know that the darker the bean/legume, the higher the health benefits? Its true! Black beans, regardless if they are canned or dried, are fiber all-stars that are also loaded with antioxidants – more antioxidants than other beans, or even the equivalent amount of oranges. The antioxidant properties found in black beans are likened to that in grapes or cranberries. Black beans are also a great source of heart-healthy magnesium, as well as iron.

In addition to the healthy and filling black beans, we also have the Vitamin C and Lycopene found in the canned tomatoes and red bell pepper. As a bonus, the corn tortillas are high in fiber, and contain only 45 calories a piece.

On our official veggie fake-out broccoli head rating scale, I give this recipe for Tortilla Pie 8 out of 10 heads of broccoli.

24 comments to Sex and the City and Tortilla Pie (with easy-poached eggs!)

  • Ann

    Okay, that is seriously calling to me. And thanks for the poached egg tip!

  • Wow, those easy poached eggs come out looking PERFECT! Lovely pictures!

  • Ron

    You’ve outdone yourself with this one, Kitty. Delicious looking healthy meal, and a way to cook poached eggs that I never knew about. Great post.

  • Julie D

    i have never heard of Tortilla Pie…but I am making this for sure! Does it reheat well? I am cooking for one this week….

  • It reheats very well. Cover with foil, and place in a preheated 350F oven for 10 minutes or so. I had some yesterday without the egg, and instead topped it with some sliced avocado. yum!

  • [...] Tortilla Pie (tags: recipe mexican tomatoes beans black_beans eggs cilantro) [...]

  • That is one FINE looking tortilla pie!! And I love the egg topping – it all looks so hearty and delicious. When can I stop by for a piece?

  • keifers

    Right on!! Miss Kitty I think have created something special. I can’t wait to make it perfect for a Sunday brunch!

  • ight on!! Miss Kitty I think have created something special. I can’t wait to make it perfect for a Sunday brunch!

  • Emily Cooks

    Drooooool……

  • Okay done. I’m making this! I’ve been in a culinary slump and your picture caught my eye. Then I read the recipe and thought, “Hey I can make this and it’s healthy!” SOLD:) Love the microwave poached egg idea. I HATE messing with all the water and doing it on the stove top and stuff. I ruin them all the time and have been baking eggs in the oven lately to avoid it.

  • This was a delicious pie.

    I made it in very little time and my boyfriend scarfed it up in seconds!
    We can eat the other 1/3rd tomorrow.

    The poached eggs didn’t work so well, though. I tried a half dozen eggs on several different microwave temperatures (30 seconds each). I think my microwave is just simply a pile of crap ;)

    I will definitely make this again.

  • Just made this – YUMMY! I skimped on the cheese b/c I realized when I got home that I didn’t get reduced fat:( I also did the layers wrong and had tortilla as my last layer instead of the tomato/bean mixture. Should’ve taken one more look at your pics. It was still REALLY good. Thanks for giving me a reason to discover those chipotle peppers. YUM (I used 2, but will kick it up to 3 next time.)

  • This is definitely Manhattan yuppie tortilla pie — and I say this as a compliment. The ski resorts in southern Colorado and New Mexico that attract a lot of Texas often serve tortilla pie in their cafeterias. It’s usually a combination of flour tortillas, ground beef, canned tomatoes, one or two kinds of canned beans, chopped onions, maybe salsa from a jar, cheese-flavored food product — baked and topped with sour cream and sometimes tortilla chips. And there’s not too much yum bout it.

    Claire @ http://culinary-colorado.blogspot.com

  • Keight

    OMG I just found your blog, and I love it, but I have to say Kitty you could hide so many more vegetables in this.

    Corn for starters.

    Do you know any time you make ANYTHING with tomato sauce, especially if you’re making it SPICY, it’s insanely easy to add tons of vitamins and fiber in the form of shredded carrots and crazy-tiny-chopped (or purreed in a bit of tomatoes/sauce then stirred into the rest of the toms) greens – spinach, kale, collards, whatever. The key is to add a little at a time – just enough to add nutrition too the dish but not enough to add to much color. Pureeing hides a multitude of veggie “sins”.

    I hide spinach, kale, collard, swiss chard, or a combination, depending what I have on hand, into every pot of tomato sauce I make. I am like a ninja.

    Just be careful with black bean soup, last time I made it I overdid it on the “hidden collards” scale and it tasted too “green”. Still tasty, but I went a liiiiiiiittle overboard.

  • I am envious of the perfect-looking egg. Alas, I do not have a microwave.

    I *lurve* tortilla pie. Rick Bayless has a bunch of great tortilla casseroles in his books, but this is such a simple but tasty looking version.

    +1 to Keight though, you could totally sneak more green matter into this baby. Greens especially, and I’ve also snuck diced zucchini into dishes like this.

  • Thanks for all the comments guys!

    Keight & Michelle: I do agree, it is totally possible to sneak more into this dish, or any of this dishes on this site. I hope that readers try their own interpretations when they make it. My goal is to create recipes that are tasty and make sense to me (and that can be made with ingredients that I have on hand!)…I am not really a fan of this whole ‘pureeeing spinach into brownies’ thing that Jessica Seinfeld has popularized. I would rather my husband be able to detect certain flavors, so that he eventually realizes that he enjoys a food we just ate. For me, that works best by taking it one or two veggies at a time.

  • Keight

    Kitty – HEE! well obviously spinach does not belong in brownies, noooo no no. It definitely can be taken to the extreme. And excellent point about getting your husband to like the tastes of the things in there. I’ve read more of your posts (or maybe almost all of them?) since I first posted, it seems like he has more texture issues with a lot of veggies anyway. I can certainly respect that – I can not, and will not ever be able to, eat shrimp. The texture completely freaks me out.

    Pureeing greens into stuff is great for using up extras before they go bad. If I don’t have any on hand I often don’t bother.

    That black bean soup though… ha. It tasted like mulch. I also do not recommend replacing fat in cookies with pureed prunes. I tried it once – ONCE mind you! and, no. I have to say no. I would much rather just eat fewer cookies!!! ;oD

  • Pureed prunes! LOL! No way…that does not make sense to me…how does that sub for fat? I have made sweets using applesauce in the mix, and have not enjoyed the results.

    Its true, his is a texture thing, mostly, though the site of most cruciferous veggies scares him. The orange/red family is the least worrisome to him, and therefore, you will probably notice I use them the most often.

  • [...] Rolled Stromboli from More Than Burnt Toast, Sweet Corn BBQ Chicken Pasta from More Than Words, Kitty’s Tortilla Pie from My Husband Hates Veggies, French Onion Soup from Proceed with Caution, Vietnamese Imperial [...]

  • Nicole

    I just tried this tonight and even though I had a few missing ingredients that I had to find substitutes for it was great! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!!!

  • Girl, that looks awesome. I’m totally linking to it on my food blog (whatsinthepot.blogspot.com). Your description of your glamorous Manhattan single girl life sounds just like mine now. Gotta love those railroad apartments!

  • fraught

    Since I’ve now made this recipe 3 times, I figure I owe you a comment — and a big thank-you!! Husband and even the toddler love it. Woohoo!!

  • [...] This is the OLD site!  Don’t you wanna be cool? Come visit My Husband Hates Veggies at our sh… [...]

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Hi there, and thanks for joining me! I'm Kitty and I would love to hear your suggestions on how to get my husband to eat his vegetables. Drop me a line at myhusbandhatesveggies @yahoo(dot)com