February 4, 2015

Mexico-Inspired Feast

As the weather starts warming slowly, I try to move my body more, breathe the fresh air even though it's spicy food. Spice from the capsicum family (peppers and paprika) awakens the digestive system, accelerates the metabolism, and improves circulation.
cold, and eat more

I am inspired to share a Mexican-style meal, which reminds me of my visits to the Yucatan Peninsula. Every part of Mexico has its own regional cuisine. These dishes are familiar to me from my time in Chiapas.

Shopping List

cornmeal (non-GMO if possible)
long grain brown rice
black beans - please soak overnight

sour cream
milk (almond or cow)

olive oil
apple cider vinegar
canned / jarred tomatoes
red chile flakes

fresh cilantro (optional)

Black Bean Stew

You will need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 teaspoon each: cumin, coriander, oregano and salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon chile flakes (optional)
1 cup cooked black beans
2 cups water
juice of 1 orange
freshly chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)

Soak beans overnight or for 8 hours. Rinse, bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer.

Skim off and discard any foam that rises to the top of the pot.
Simmer for 30 minutes or until beans are tender but still well-formed.
Rinse, drain, and set aside.

Chop onions, garlic, and carrots.
Place in a stock pot with olive oil and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add spices and black beans. Stir well and sauté for 3 more minutes, or until you can smell the spices.

Add water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.
Add the juice of 1 orange. Stir well.
Turn off heat and enjoy with cooked rice and a garnish of freshly chopped cilantro if you like.

Cornmeal Casserole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a glass baking dish (9x9 or so) with olive oil. Set aside.
2 cloves garlic
1/2 pound mushrooms
1 carrot
1 onion

Place these in a deep skillet with 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Turn heat on high and then reduce to medium low once vegetables start to sizzle.
Add 1 teaspoon each: oregano, cumin, and coriander - mix well.
Splash with 1 tablespoon lime juice, stir once more, and cover.
Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. 
Turn off heat, add 2 packed cups spinach, stir well, and spread into baking dish.

For the topping, whisk together these ingredients in the order listed:
2 cups cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups milk (almond or cow)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Add a bit of water if the dough is too dry. You need to be able to handle it with your hands without it cracking or crumbling.

Shape dough into a flat disc and place over vegetables.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. 
Remove from oven and serve with sour cream chile sauce.

GET CREATIVE! Avoiding cream and cheese? Put a fried egg or braised cod on top.

Sour Cream Chile Sauce

In a serving bowl, mix:
2 cups sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon lime juice
1 teaspoon each: coriander and chile flakes
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

Serve immediately or keep refrigerated until ready to eat.

Thanks to Jen at Tiny Urban Kitchen for the image on the right and loads of recipe inspiration. 


Dayna Sabatino said...

Hi there, I have been exploring your recipes and I love them! I am wondering about the cornmeal casserole and wondering about the topping. I am curious if there is an ingredient missing. It is not a thick dough at all. much more liquid than cornmeal. Am I m
issing something?

Lisa Mase said...

Thanks for trying these recipes! It's 1/2 cup of milk. My mistake. I appreciate the feedback and I will edit the recipe.

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