I don’t usually like to make the same thing again and again. I know some people have a favorite “having guests for dinner” menu they like to repeat. Not true for me nor would I practice making something I haven’t tried before to make sure it works out. I just trust that it will and if it doesn’t, then there’s always lots of wine. Now the menu that I do occasionally repeat and Katie often asks me to make is so good and so easy. The original menu appeared in Gourmet magazine many years ago (I just looked it up, 1995, wow, Katie was 10 years old when I first made this) and I have simplified it a bit over time. The Gourmet version called for beef tenderloin but I have always used strip steaks prepared on the grill (we all need a little red meat now and then), served with black bean tortilla cakes and tomato ginger vinaigrette. The tomato ginger vinaigrette is what really makes the meal. Whatever you do, don’t skip that!! The back bean tortilla cakes make a great meal all by themselves and I always try to make extra because they are great the next day. I really cut down on the amount of oil in the vinaigrette and it still tastes great.
If you use a can of tomato paste, the remainder of the tomato paste can be transferred to a small freezer bag or plastic container and frozen until the next time you make this because if you make it once, you’ll make it again.
Tomato ginger vinaigrette
1 can diced tomatoes, drained (14 -16 oz can)
3 tablespoons grated fresh gingerroot
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
Mix all ingredients in blender until smooth
Black bean tortilla cakes
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (14 -16 oz can)
1 can corn, drained (11-14 oz can)
1 medium onion, diced
3 cups Mexican blend cheese
10 flour tortillas, 10 to 12 inch
About 1 teaspoon olive oil to brush on top of the tortilla stacks
Cayenne pepper to sprinkle on top or each stack
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Mix beans, corn and onion in a bowl. Measure out cheese. Put 2 tortillas on a large baking sheet, sprinkle each tortilla with about ½ cup of the corn mix and 1/3 cup of the cheese. Top with a second tortilla and make two more layers. Gently press down to compress the stack. Top with a fourth tortilla and brush with olive oil and cayenne pepper.
Bake tortilla cakes for 15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cut into wedges and serve.