Cookbooks are precious and treasured gifts to me. I love them and apparently I just can’t seem to ever get enough of them. I am definitely a collector, connoisseur and aficionado of all kinds of cookbooks. Someone I used to work with a long, long time ago, my idol of sorts, had told me once that “you never have your last cookbook”. I obviously took those words to heart, and have followed her words of advice and wisdom ever since. I have well over 600 cookbooks, and am always still adding and counting to that collection. When someone gives me a new cookbook, I am in 7th Heaven. Getting a new cookbook is one of the best gifts someone can give to me. I am like a little kid in a candy store. I just can’t wait until I can break it in and make something delicious from it. 🙂
My dear friend Priscilla just got back from a business trip in San Antonio, Texas. Knowing how much I love and collect cookbooks, she was so thoughtful and brought me a new cookbook from San Antonio, “Food and Flavors of San Antonio“. The recipes all sound great and I have already made one of them, with many more to follow in the future. The foods of Texas and California have a lot of Mexican and Latin influences and similarities. In Texas, they have their own name for these foods. They call them Tex-Mex. These are some of my favorite foods, but then my mother was from Port Arthur, Texas, in the Southeastern part, and I am from the Los Angeles area of Southern California, which explains my love and fascination with Mexican foods in general.
I got a bonus gift as well. The book came with a Southwestern cookie cutter too. WHOOOO HOOOOO!!!!! Thank you so much Priscilla. You made my day!
My first recipe from this wonderful new book was a chicken and black bean casserole. I served it with some chipotle buttered corn on the cob From Basic to Bold and some leftover arroz verde A Mexican Meal that I mixed with the rest of my hominy.
Chicken and Black Bean Casserole
2-3 TBSP olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and sliced very thin
1 TBSP garlic
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups pico de gallo
10 6″ tortillas, either corn or flour, cut into strips about 1″ in size
1-2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded
I made my own pico de gallo, but I also added a bit of store-bought salsa as well.
Preheat the oven to 450* F
Spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray
Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 or so minutes, or until the onions are just lightly browned.
Once the onions and garlic are lightly browned, add the chicken and the black beans and combine well. Remove these from the skillet and set aside.
Add the pico de gallo and the chicken stock to the skillet and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes.
Once everything is cooked, it is time to start layering all the ingredients together. Spread about 1/2 the cut tortilla strips in the baking sheet, spreading them evenly. Next, add about 1/2 of the chicken and onion mixture, again, spreading evenly over the tortilla strips and repeat.
After all the tortilla strips and chicken have been spread into the pan, pour the pico de gallo mixture evenly over the chicken and top with the shredded cheese. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned and serve while it’s hot.
Delicioso y que bueno!