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Tex-Mex Tart

I liked my first tortilla crust tart, but I wanted to do something more solidly Tex-Mex.

I started thinking…nachos.

I had a big block of mild orange cheddar cheese that I’d scored at Lilo Fromager down the street the week before, and had some chicken breasts that I needed to cook, too. I also had some black beans that I just needed to refry – and voila! – I had my second tart idea.

Hoo-boy, was this a good one.

The key to this tart, which I’m calling simply, Tex-Mex Tart, is making the chicken in the slow cooker with my Ranchero Sauce, because otherwise, it might be a bit on the bland side. That said, you may certainly use leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken, but I’d spice it up a bit with some chile powder or chipotle powder, and throw in some chopped onion and garlic. Of course, if you’d like to go vegetarian, omit the chicken and just do a black bean and cheese tart, or throw some veggies in the middle. Or not.

Tex-Mex Tart

2 cups refried black beans
2 cups Ranchero Chicken (recipe follows)
2 cups cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese, grated
tortilla tart shell

Preheat oven to 350.

1. Make refried beans: In a medium bowl, mash drained beans (you may use canned) with a potato masher, add 1 clove garlic and 1/2 teaspoon cumin. In a heavy skillet, drizzle 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, and cook the beans over medium heat until dry, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

2. Make Ranchero Chicken: Chop 2-4 medium potatoes into large chunks and make a single potato layer in the bottom of a slow cooker. Add skinless, boneless chicken breasts, and one recipe of Ranchero Sauce, and cook for 4 hours on high. When done, shred chicken and refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Assemble Tex-Mex Tart: Spread the beans in an even layer on the bottom of the tart shell, then add layer of the shredded chicken. Top with shredded cheese.

4. Bake for 15 minutes with foil loosely left on top; remove foil the last five minutes so cheese gets bubbly. Sprinkle with a bit of cilantro so it looks pretty.

Serve with Peach-Tomato Chipotle Salsa (as I’ve done here), pico, or your favorite jarred salsa, along with a bit of creme fraiche. Love.