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BEans and stale tortillas on hand: something different for dinner?

Please suggest a way I can make dinner out of pinto beans and stale corn tortillas. I am drawing a blank for something different (and easy).

I have cheese, romaine, salsa, jalapenos, corn, onions, green pepper, pasta....on hand, and I just saw that my husband bought a can of chili (I have never eaten canned chili, but I might give it a try with a good idea!).

Thanks for any ideas you could toss my way.

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  1. You can certainly layer the beans, tortillas torn into pieces, salsa, corn, chopped onions and cheese and then bake that in the oven--sort of an enchilada. Great with a dollop of sour cream at the end and if you want some crunch chop some romaine for on top.

    1. You could make an enchilada casserole of sorts ... if you have some tomato or enchilada sauce, pour some in the bottom of the casserole dish, then a layer of tortillas, cheese, pinto beans, etc. and repeat. Bake in 350 degree oven until brown and bubbly.

      The other thing would be to take all your ingredients and doctor up the canned chili, maybe fry up the stale tortillas into chips.

      Happy cooking!

      1. I'd make refried beans (sauteeing onions, green peppers & garlic or garlic powder to add) with a slightly softened fried egg to top & a sprinkle of cheese. Fried tortilla chips sprinkled with cumin, chipotle pepper & salt to go with.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Cherylptw

          Yummm. Your ideas sound delicious. Thanks so much for getting me off high center!

        2. Chilaquiles!! Best use of stale corn tortillas.

          Cut corn tortillas into strips or wedges and fry in a good amount of hot oil. Drain well. In a large skillet bring a generous amount of salsa (red or green, doesn't matter) to a simmer. Toss in the fried and drained tortilla pieces and gently simmer until the tortillas are heated through but still slightly crisp. Don't let them absorb all the salsa or they'll get mushy. Turn onto a plate,sprinkle with chopped white onion, a good melting cheese, shredded and anything else you want. Chicken or fried eggs are pretty typical add-ons but really you can use just about anything you think goes with the salsa in which you cooked the tortillas. You could probably heat up your pinto beans, drain them well and top the chilaquiles with them.

          The key to good chilaquiles is to use enough salsa to cook the fried tortilla pieces until they've softened a bit but don't get mushy. The better the flavor profile on of the salsa, the tastier the chilaquiles :-)

          1. Another vote for frying up the tortillas. It's so easy and don't forget to salt right out of the oil, or the salt won't stick.

            1. Make enfrijoladas. You just fry the tortillas in hot oil to soften them (not to crisp, but to prevent them from disintegrating in the beans), then dip them in seasoned, slightly liquidy refried beans. Then you stuff them with whatever you like, such as mozzarella or queso oaxaca, shredded chicken, queso fresco, or even leave them unstuffed. Some people also fry and roll them and then top with beans with a ladle instead of dipping. You can do it plate by plate or put them in a baking dish. You can stick them in the oven briefly if you stuffed them with a cheese that you want to get really melty. Then, to serve, top with crumbles of queso fresco and a little bit of crema agría/sour cream/crema mexicana.

              See a couple of example recipes:


              Video (in Spanish but if you don't speak Spanish you can figure it out from the visuals
              ) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Vf8wn...

              It's like enchiladas but with beans instead of chile sauce. This is delicious and is pure comfort food.

              1 Reply
              1. re: luckyfatima

                Oh, good call. Love enfrijoladas...and enmoladas for that matter :-)

              2. You could make a really nice taco salad.......layer the romaine, shredded, with the hot canned chili, some diced onions and peppers, and some of that corn, and garnish with shredded cheese and salsa. (cut the tortilla chips into strips and fry them, then use as a garnish or a layer.) You could accomplish a tostada by keeping the tortillas whole and using them for the base of the salad. You could heat the chili, and briefly soften the tortillas in oil, and then make taquitos out of them, rolling tightly as you would a burrito (sealed at both ends, please!!) and then re-fry them uncil crunchy brown, serviing the salsa as a dip and a salad alongside. You didn't mention how many peppers you have, but with some rice and the chili, some onion and cheese? You've got the making for a nice quasi-Mexican stuffed bell pepper, using the salsa as your braising liquid and serving salad on the side again. There's always the ol' chili macaroni, which is pretty self-explanatory.. Kids usually really love it. Good luck to you!! I'm sure you will (or did?) come up with something wonderful.

                1 Reply
                1. re: mamachef

                  Thanks mamachef. Sounds delicious.
                  Yes, I did combine the ideas of the first two posters (thanks escondido and Random) and ended up with a nice casserole type dish. Enough for leftovers! I had no sauce so pureed some leftover canned tomatoes and salsa and a little bit of broth. My husband was happy to have something different!

                  I think ALL the ideas are great, and will just work my way through them, with much gratitude for your help.

                  Thanks so much!.