Aired April 17, 2008
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
Zest and juice of 1 lime, divided
1 medium red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (from a 7-ounce can), seeded and chopped, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
2 15-ounce cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups corn, fresh off the cob or frozen and defrosted
2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained
A few dashes hot sauce
3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 cup shredded smoked cheddar cheese
3 scallions, chopped on bias
1/2 cup (about a handful) chopped cilantro
1 8-ounce container sour cream
Preheat oven to 400F.
Stack the corn tortillas on top of one another and slice them into strips about an inch thick. Place into a mixing bowl along with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, cumin, coriander and lime zest. Give everything a toss to evenly coat the tortilla strips then place them onto a baking sheet. Bake the strips until they're crispy and golden brown, 12-15 minutes.
While the tortillas are crisping up in the oven place a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of vegetable oil, about 1 tablespoon. Toss the red onion and garlic into the pan and cook 2-3 minutes to soften them up. Add in the chipotle peppers along with the adobo sauce and the tomatoes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir to combine. Transfer everything to a food processor and pulse until it resembles salsa. Set aside.
Place another skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter. Add the corn to the melted butter and cook it until really golden brown, 8-10 minutes. (The secret to getting it good and brown here is to only stir it occasionally let the corn sit so that the sides can brown up.)
While the corn is cooking, place the same skillet the onion and peppers were cooked in back over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of the vegetable oil, about 1 tablespoon. Add in one can of black beans and heat them through. Using a wooden spoon or potato masher, mash the beans to a paste, then stir in the other can of beans and hit it with the hot sauce and some salt.
Assemble the chilaquiles by ladling half of the salsa into a 9x13" casserole dish. Arrange the toasted corn strips or chips in the dish and top them off with the black beans, followed by the corn and the remaining salsa. Top with a shower of your shredded cheeses and pop it into the oven to melt the cheese, 7-8 minutes.
When the dish comes out of the oven squeeze the juice from the lime over the top and garnish with scallions and chopped cilantro. Pass some sour cream at the table to dollop on top.