Thought I’d send you off into the weekend with a little fun! And when you thinking of fun, I’ll just bet you’re thinking of a spicy/cheesy/beany taco chip topped hash brown crust pie. Isn’t that what everyone equates with it? LOL! But seriously guys, this little dinner pie is totally fun and totally delicious too!
It would be the perfect addition to watching the big game. In all honesty, I’m just in it for the food. I don’t exactly know (or care) what game I’m talking about but I’m sure my darling husband will be hogging the remote and clicking between football and baseball over the next couple of days!!
Now, before I get myself in more trouble, let’s talk Spicy Poblano and Bean Pie with Hash Brown Crust. There are a bunch of steps involved but none of them are difficult and the filling can totally be made ahead if you so desire. And the reward is so, so worth it!
First up—poblano peppers. We’re gonna char them in the oven, so that their smoky flavor gets released, but before we do that, we’re gonna slice them in half and remove all the seeds. It’s easy but one note of caution: when working with any spicy peppers (and poblanos are relatively mild—I’m pretty much a spice wimp), make sure you do not touch your face until you’ve really washed your hands. Pepper juice in your eye is extremely painful—I know from personal experience!!
Anyhoo, once that pepper is charred, the skins will slip off easily and we can slice them up to use in our wonderful filling. Meanwhile we can make the hash brown crust which totally tastes as good as it sounds.
And it’s easy to do, especially if you use a food processor to grate the potatoes and onion. Once those are done, you simply mix them with eggs, salt and pepper, press into the crust and bake—
Till it emerges all golden brown and crusty.
The filling—pinto beans, canned tomatoes, water and spices, along with those sliced poblanos, basically just gets dumped into a skillet, boiled and cooked until it thickens, eventually getting layered on top of that gorgeous potato crust.
From then on it’s easy-peasy—you just sprinkle on scallions, cheese and crushed tortilla chips and bake the whole thing.
Imagine the looks on those game-watching faces, when you pull this out of the oven! There’ll be more cheers than when someone scores a touchdown!
Every bite combines the amazing combination of crispy hash browns, crunchy tortilla chips, savory tomato, pepper and bean filling and melted cheese. So many flavors and textures!! YUM!!
It might just change your life! Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating but as I said earlier, it’ll definitely change your weekend. Have fun (there’s that word again) and I’ll be back next week with more!!
Spicy Poblano and Bean Pie with Hash Brown Crust
Makes about a dozen servings
You will need a quarter sheet pan for this. It’s also really helpful to have a food processor but not absolutely necessary.
Prep Time for crust: 15 minutes; Bake Time for Crust: 45 minutes; Prep time for filling: 25 minutes; Bake Time for Pie: 20 minutes
For the crust
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 ½ pounds russet potatoes (about 4 large ones), cleaned and scrubbed, but not peeled
1 large egg, plus 1 egg white, beaten
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Large pinch black pepper
For the pie
2 large poblano peppers
One 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
One 15-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
Pinch or two of kosher salt and black pepper
7-8 scallions, chopped
6 ounces freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese (or any cheese that you like)
5 ounces tortilla chips (about 2 cups) crushed
1. To prepare the poblano peppers: Heat the oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the poblano peppers lengthwise and remove and discard the stem, core and seeds. Wash your hands really well to avoid getting any of that pepper juice into your eyes! Place the pepper, skin side up on the pan and place into the oven for about 8-12 minutes, until the skins look blackened. Immediately place into a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. As soon as you can handle the peppers, peel off the blackened skins and discard them. Then slice the peppers into thin strips and set aside. Wash your hands really well again. Lower the oven to 425ºF.
2. To make the crust: f you have a baking stone, place it in the oven on the center rack. If not, use an inverted rimmed baking sheet. Use 1 tablespoon of the oil to coat the quarter sheet pan, making sure you particularly get it into the corners and up the sides. Set aside.
3. If you have a food processor, grate the onion that way. Otherwise, you can use a handheld grater. Transfer the onions to a large bowl. Grate the potatoes. By handfuls, over a separate large bowl, squeeze as much water as you can from the shredded potatoes into the bowl and place the dried handfuls into the bowl with the onions. It’s ok if the potatoes start to get a little brown, but do try to work quickly. Let the potato liquid sit for 5 minutes so that the potato liquid can separate from the potato starch. Pour off and discard the liquid and add the starch that’s left at the bottom of the bowl to the onion/potato mixture. Add the beaten egg and egg white as well as the salt and pepper and mix well, using your hands or a large spoon. Press the mixture into the prepared pan evenly and brush the whole thing with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil.
4. Place the pan into the oven on top of the baking stone or pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until the potatoes look toasted brown at the edges and across the middle. Turn the oven down to 400ºF.
5. While the crust is baking, you can make the filling: Coat a large skillet with a little olive oil and heat over medium. Add the beans, sliced peppers, tomatoes with their juices and salt and pepper. Fill the tomato can halfway with water and add to the mixture. Give everything a big stir and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and let cook for another 20 minutes or so, until the mixture has thickened somewhat. Let the filling cool a bit (You could even make this a day ahead and keep it refrigerated). Mix the scallions and cheese together and set aside.
6. When the filling has cooled a bit and the potato crust is ready, spread the filling evenly across the crust. Sprinkle the scallion/cheese mixture evenly on top and then the crushed chips. Return to the oven for about 20 minutes, until the filling is bubbly, the cheese is melted and the chips have begun to get toasty brown. Slice and serve. Or make this earlier in the day and reheat in a low oven right before serving.
Note: Recipe adapted from Pie Squared by Cathy Barrow. I subbed in beans for the chorizo, added water and other spices, cut the cilantro and subbed in Monterey jack for the cotija.