Friday, April 27, 2012

Savory pies - Yummy bean and salsa!

This makes a great snack or lunch for kids. Well, kids who are willing to eat beans. One of mine will. One won't. My husband and I really like it too.  For this recipe, I just used regular pie crust, but you could make a masa (corn flour) version too that might taste more authentic. In this case, I was also making sweet pies and just used the same dough for both. As I said, it was yummy.

My youngest son is high functioning autistic and with that, he has a fear of trying a lot of new foods. Getting him working with food hopefully gets him more interested in trying new foods. Plus, it's a great way to do things together we both can enjoy. It's his hands that you see in the picture to the right (a couple years ago).

So, here we are rolling out and cutting out the dough for the mini pies. He's six years old and doing it here. That means you can do it too. (OK, I rolled the dough, but he did all the cutting.

As a reminder as it's been eons since I've written about them on this blog, I bought brookster pans from Williams Sonoma (and reviewed them there) for making mini pies. There are also mini pie electric machines. Breville makes one and there is a knock off brand too. and now WS also sells mini cup pie pans I guess pies are the next fad in foods - first cupcakes, now pies. Pies are way more versatile. Here's my son putting the pie crusts into the brookster pans.

In a food processor, I blend up a can of drained black beans. You can make your own beans too much more cheaply - less sodium that way, but of course it takes advanced planning for that. I always keep a couple cans of black beans on hand as they are easy to make quick last minute dinners with.

Back to the pies: I add a couple tablespoons of the blended up black beans to the pie crust and smooth it out to cover the pie bottoms.

 Next, I spoon on salsa. In this case, it's a jarred salsa - spicy. I never, ever buy salsa from a jar, but I needed some for a school event or something and they didn't need it, so there we had a jar of salsa we would never use for fajitas or tacos. We prefer fresh. One day I'll walk you through how utterly easy it is to make fresh salsa - you'll never buy jarred salsa again - except maybe to make this savory pie! Jarred salsa is less liquid than fresh, so it lends itself well to this savory pie. I guess this is a few tablespoons per each. I used the entire jar for 2 pans (so 12 mini pies):

Then you sprinkle on cheese. I always have some sort of shredded cheese on hand. Usually Mexican four blend cheese. It's more finely shredded than mozzarella too which does great on mini pies. Bake until the crust browns up a bit and the cheese startes to toast up - just like a pizza. Eat warm or room temperature. We love it! The black beans tame the spicy heat of the salsa, making them perfect partners.

And now, all done:

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