Hi! I’m Mardi visiting the Mushrooms Canada kitchen from eat. live. travel. write. and I’m excited to be sharing a “Blend & Extend” recipe today. To tell you the truth, I've been mixing mushrooms with my ground beef for a while now – it’s a great way to add an extra serving of vegetables to dishes that tend to be meat-heavy (think meatloaf) and since finely chopped mushrooms look similar to and blend seamlessly with ground beef, you can make your classic ground beef dishes healthier without losing out on taste or texture. I love the “extend” part of the Blend & Extend concept because there are a few dishes I tend to make often that use ground beef where 1lb is too little and 2lb is too much – swapping out ½ the beef for mushrooms is a great alternative since it adds flavor and bulk but doesn't weigh the dish down. One of these dishes is a favourite “make ahead” meal – a layered tortilla pie – kind of like Mexican lasagna with corn tortillas in place of pasta. This version uses mushrooms and beef for the meat layer alternating with layers of beans, salsa and cheese. It’s definitely a meal in a slice.
Beef and mushroom tortilla pie
Ingredients (serves 6-8)
For the meat:
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb mushrooms (I used crimini and shiitake)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt, to taste
For the beans:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 ½ cups salsa
12 6-inch corn tortillas
200g shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
To cook the beef and mushrooms:
Place the mushrooms in a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
Pulse until they are finely chopped.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the shallots and garlic and cook sauté until they start to soften but not brown.
Add the mushrooms and sauté until they start to brown (at this point you might want to drain any excess liquid or you can lower the heat and continue to cook until the liquid is mostly cooked off).
Add the beef, mix to combine well with the mushroom mixture and cook until the beef is browned.
Stir in the coriander, cumin and red pepper flakes and season with salt, to taste.
To cook the beans:
In a separate skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the shallot and garlic until they just start to soften.
Add the drained beans and cook over medium heat until they are soft enough to mash.
Stir in the cumin and coriander then use a potato masher or the back of a soup ladle to gently crush the beans. You can leave some whole so the texture is not completely smooth.
Cover the bottom of a deep round baking dish (9-inches/ 23cm in diameter with a capacity of 2L) with about ¼ cup of the salsa.
Top with 2 corn tortillas – you will have to cut them to fit the shape of the dish so the bottom is completely covered.
Top with about 1/3 of the beef and mushroom mixture, then ¼ cup of the salsa then scatter about ¼ of the cheese.
Layer on 2 corn tortillas, cut to fit the dish, then top with 1/3 of the bean mixture, then ¼ cup salsa and more cheese.
Continue to layer the tortillas, beef and beans until you have used up all the ingredients. Make sure the top of the pie is just salsa and cheese on a tortilla layer.
Depending on the size of your dish, you will get 2-3 layers each of beef/ mushrooms and beans.
Bake for 20 minutes at 400˚F, then broil on high for 3-5 minutes until the cheese on top is golden brown and bubbling.
Serve slices with a dollop of sour cream and some extra salsa and fresh avocado slices.
Mardi Michels is a full-time French teacher to elementary school-aged boys and the author of eat. live. travel. write. - a blog focusing on culinary adventures near and far. She has lived and worked as a teacher in Australia, Hong Kong, England, France and now calls Toronto home. As part of her job, she runs a cooking class twice a week for 7-13 year-old boys, Les Petits Chefs and Cooking Basics. She’s also a cook, baker, traveler, photographer, writer, she was a co-founder of Food Bloggers of Canada, Food Revolution Day Ambassador for Toronto and in her spare time teaches cooking classes around Toronto.
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