11 December 2012

Recipe: Fajita Taco Dip

When it looks like this outside:

You don't want no salad.  I made this stick-to-your-ribs gooey hot comfort food because Matt and I had been staring out the windows at THAT all Sunday.  Ahh, Minnesota.  One day I hope to understand how the Lakota and Ojibwe lived here without heaters or melted Daiya.  Seriously, how badass is that?

My pictures will be slightly different from the text of the recipe because - ha - no way was I going out in THAT to buy the lime, black beans, and bell pepper I could easily replace with lemon, garbanzos, and broccoli.  Also, this recipe may seem long, cruel, and/or unusual, but don't worry about it.  You can modify the dickens out of this thing.  If you're pressed for time, use white rice (or even faster: couscous), skip the roasted squash and fajitas, and you've got a dish that takes 40 minutes or less.

Fajita Taco Dip
GF with the right chips - 70 minutes (mostly inactive) - serves 6

Olive oil
1c uncooked brown rice
Chili powder
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 bell peppers (one green, one red), chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can black beans
3/4 bag Daiya pepperjack or cheddar
1c salsa
1/2c fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Juice from 1 lime
Bag of corn chips (I LOVE these)

Oven: 400F.  In the immortal words of Kathryn Janeway, DO IT.

First part's super easy.  Set your rice up: 2 cups of water, 1 cup of rice, a dash of salt, 1t chili powder, 1t cumin, 1/2t coriander, 1/2t marjoram, and 1/4t cayenne.  Do a little squirt of olive oil - one tablespoon or less - then bring it to a boil, followed by a 50-minute simmer.

Next, jazz up your squash.  Throw the pieces onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Spray 'em with oil or cooking spray, then sprinkle a small dash of each spice across them.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and leave it there for 30 minutes, or until the squash is easily smushed.

Hot potato one of those up to your mouth and don't close your lips so the steam can escape as you overenthusiastically try to savor one.  Trust me, it's worth it.

Only when your rice and squash are both done must you continue.  While they're cooking you could watch an episode of 30 Rock.  (Look, I know about TV other than Star Trek, each episode of which is too long to watch during this interim!  I'm so hip or something!)  Don't turn your oven off.  Grab a 9x9-ish baking dish and mix your cooked rice, Daiya, beans, and salsa up in there.  Slide that sucker in your oven for 15 minutes.

Preheat a skillet with oil over medium-high heat.  Grab your fajita veggies and throw them in to party.

Fajitas are super fun.  You get to cook them really hot and really fast, and they always always always wind up smelling amazing.  That sentence had a total M. Night Shenanigan twist ending.  So once the onions have been going for a couple of minutes, add the garlic and bell peppers.  Just fajita them up for 2-3 more minutes and savor that extreme fajita sound.  Stop when everything looks beautiful.  Crisp yet steaming.

Pull your rice mixture from the oven.  It should look like this, with a browned and firmed-up surface:

Throw your cilantro and lime juice into the baking dish and mix it into the rice.  Spread the squash and fajitas on top and you have yourself some taco dip!

You can mix it up if you have room in your baking dish.  I mixed mine up in a bowl.  Dig into it with your chips.  Marvel at your own cleverness.  Watch an episode of Deep Space 9 for some reason.

Want to see something super cute?  Super cute plant time?

AWW.  Right?  Food is so beautiful.  Unlike DS9.