Red and Black Bean Pies
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, in juice
- 1 package (16 ounces) plain prepared polenta, patted dry
- 1 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped, plus more for garnish (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
- 1 1/2 cups coarsely shredded pepper Jack cheese (6 ounces)
- Salsa (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium; add white part of scallions and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes with juice, and 1/2 cup water. As you bring to a boil, mash about 1/4 of the beans with the back of a spoon against side of pan to release starch. Reduce to a simmer; cook until mixture has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, brush eight 10- to 12-ounce ramekins or custard cups with remaining oil. Slice polenta crosswise into 8 rounds; place 1 round in each ramekin.
Remove bean mixture from heat. Stir in green part of scallions, cilantro, and hot sauce; season with salt and pepper. Spoon bean mixture into ramekins; top each with cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. If desired, garnish with cilantro, and serve with salsa.