Tex-Mex in a versatile casserole. Beans, tomatoes, salsa, corn, and adobo create a wonderful palate of flavors. Think of it as the Tex-Mex version of Shepherd’s Pie!
Tex-Mex Casserole! w/ Polenta & Tajin
- 2 cup water
- 1 cup brown rice
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 TBSP avocado oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- ½ green bell pepper (diced)
- 3 TBSP tomato paste
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1½ TBSP chipotle in adobo sauce, optional for smokey heat (in the ethnic food aisle)
- ½ cup water (to deglaze)
- 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 jar Instant Pot Black Bean (substitute one can)
- 1 lb asparagus (1" pieces)
- 1 jar salsa (sugar free)
- 12 oz frozen corn
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar (or other vinegar)
- ½ cup cilantro, rough chopped
- 2¼ cup water
- ¾ cup polenta
- 4 oz vegan butter (1/2 stick, cut to small cubes)
- 1 lime (juiced)
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup cilantro (minced)
- Trader Joe's Chili Lime Seasoning (or other Tajin spice)
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
- Add the rice to the boiling water. Return the water to a boil. Boil five minutes. Add the salt. Reduce to simmer.
- Cover the rice and simmer 45 minutes. Don't peek! Drain off any excess water and remove to a dish or a cooking tray. You can also cook the rice a day or two ahead and refrigerate.
- Wash the sauce pan so it is available to make the polenta in the last step.
- Heat a large pot. Add the 'cado oil, onion and diced pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are translucent and beginning to brown. About 10.
Enhance the Flavor
- Push the aromatics to the side. Put the garlic and the tomato paste in the well in the middle of the pan. Cook until the tomato paste begins to brown and stick to the bottom of the pan about 5 minutes.
- Pour 1/2 cup (120 ml) water on the hot pan to dissolve the brown bits on the bottom of the pan and lift them into the sauce. In chef-speak this is called "deglazing" the pan. The brown bits are referred to as "fond".
- Add the remaining flavor ingredients and stir to combine.
Add the casserole ingredients
- Add the cooked rice to the pan. Add the tomatoes, black beans, asparagus, salsa and frozen corn to the pan.
- Cook on the stove top for 30 minutes, stirring frequently, to allow flavors to meld.
- Taste and adjust flavors as necessary.
Make the polenta
- Bring the water to a boil. Using a wire whisk, slowly sprinkle the polenta into the hot water stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the water is absorbed. (This will happen very quickly).
- Reduce the heat and stir in the salt, lime juice, and butter. Stir until the butter melts.
- Spoon one serving onto a plate. Top with cooked polenta. Garnish with cilantro confetti and Trader Joe's Chili Lime (Tajin) spice.
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