14 April 2011

Daring Cooks April Challenge: Edible Containers

Cheddar cup filled with refried beans, cilantro, and onion.

Renata of Testado, Provado & Aprovado! was our Daring Cooks’ April 2011 hostess. Renata challenged us to think “outside the plate” and create our own edible containers! Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 17th to May 16th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

Whoa. Edible Containers. At first it seemed quite daunting, but after much brainstorming (with the help of tons of suggestions from other Daring Cooks... and Tabitha), I settled on feeding the cravings I’ve been having lately: Mexican food. I don’t know what it is, but I always want Mexican food. I was also hosting a dinner party and serving carnitas, so I figured throwing a few edible containers in there wouldn’t hurt, right?

There is, of course, the obvious Mexican edible container: the tortilla. I’ve shown you the ones that Homesick Texan loves so much, but I’d never made them again because they were so difficult to roll out. I had the whole day to prep for this dinner party, so I opted to go crazy and make two batches of tortillas: the recipe from Homesick Texan and the recipe from Rick Bayless. Ya know, the one I wanted to make last May for the Daring Cooks Enchiladas Challenge, but didn’t?

But what other container could I make? I wanted something slightly different, but still a classic container. And that’s when I saw parmesan baskets popping up on the Daring Cooks forums. Well, cheddar is the closest I can get to Mexican cheese here, so cheddar baskets seemed like a great idea. That settled, I got down to thinking about fillings. And came up with one of my favorite things: pintos and cheese! Pintos here exist in the form of refried beans from Old El Paso, so I started there and doctored them to my taste. Oh yum. J

Flour Tortilla 
not at all adapted from Rick Bayless, original recipe here

* To turn your tortilla into a tortilla bowl, place one in between the cups of an inverted muffin pan and pop into a preheated 350°F oven until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Tortilla bowl with cabbage, carnita meat, avocado, cheddar, tomatoes, and cilantro.

Cheddar Cups
recipe thrown together from tons of Parmesan cup recipes out there. too many to name.

¼ cup of finely shredded cheddar per final cheddar cup

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread ¼ cup of cheddar out on a silpat placed on a cooking sheet. Put as many cups on the silpat as will fit (you may need to make your cups in batches, depending on how many you want to make). Bake until the cheddar has melted and the oils in the cheese begin to separate. Remove from oven. Allow cheddar rounds to cool on silpat until you are able to pick them up (about 4 minutes). Meanwhile, prepare your mold by flipping a clean muffin pan upside down. When the cheddar rounds are ready, carefully remove each round and drape it over a cup on the muffin pan. Allow rounds to harden on pan (but not to completion), remove, and set aside until until you are ready to fill them.

Cheese rounds ready for baking.

Doctored Up Refried Beans
Fabulously Fun Food original

1 14oz can refried beans
1 cup salsa (your favorite, hot, medium, or mild)
½ teaspoon jalapeno Tabasco sauce (use regular Tabasco sauce if you want more heat)

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat through until hot. Serve in cheddar cups. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, and diced onions.

Cheese round draped over an inverted muffin pan, ready to become a cheese cup!

Tortillas: The Rick Bayless tortillas were awesome! They are so much easier to roll out than the ones from Homesick Texans. The dough is quite pliable and easy to work with, making them much more reasonable for a rolling pin novice like me to make. Homesick Texan tortillas are good, don’t get me wrong, but they are a bit salty and quite fluffy. The Rick Bayless tortillas are smoother and tasty, and have the right amount of salt. I am very glad that I tried to make more tortillas!
VERDICT: Make-again-and-again-and-again: 5 votes!

Tortilla Bowls: I waited until the next day to make tortilla bowls for myself because things were so hectic the night before. I only had 4 tortillas leftover from the night before, all Homesick Texan tortillas (they were on the bottom of the stack because they were cooked first, they weren’t picked over), but they are not pliable the next day, so I ended up using storebought tortillas for my tortilla bowls. They turned out just fine, but would have been much better with the homemade tortillas.
VERDICT: These-really-need-homemade-tortillas: 1 vote!

Cheddar Cups: I’ll be honest, I got busy with other things and left most of my cheddar cups on the muffin pan to harden completely. Oops. The Dude ended up using a knife to chip them off and I only ended up with one cheddar cup. So much for cute appetizers. Either way, the cup was yummy, and quite delicious when filled with Doctored Up Refried Beans. And everyone liked the refried beans!
I-should-have-payed-attention-when-I-made-these: 1 vote
There-was-way-too-much-food-to-notice-something-had-flopped: 4 votes

Interested in what the other Daring Cooks came up with for this challenge? Go check out the blogroll at the Daring Kitchen!


  1. Wow, your challenge looks amaizing, well done!

  2. The tortilla bowls look smashing and the TexMex filling is perfect for them sorry to hear about the stuck-on cheese bowls. It sounds like you had a great time making these well done.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  3. I love refried beans and the cheese cup makes it seem so upscale and pretty, great job on the challenge!

  4. I was contemplating a cup with parmesan as well. The one you salvaged turned out beautiful.

  5. Your one surviving cheese cup is so lovely and delicate and the filling is perfect. Great job!

  6. I love tortilla bowls but hate eating them because they are fried. Was it crispy enough to satisfy my craving of a crispy tortilla bowl? Everything looks delish!

  7. Looks delicious, ppity you only had one cheese cup, but I'm sure it tasted divine. Well done

  8. You really can't go wrong with cheese and beans, and those cheddar cups look amazing. I've only ever made corn tortillas, but I might have to give these a try. But first, I think I need to go out and find some Mexican food to satisfy my sudden cravings.

  9. I was thinking of trying a cheddar cup myself, but didn't think it would turn out due to the slight oily'ness' of cheddar cheese when it's melted. Lo and behold, you not only made it, but one would think it was made of harder cheese, like parmesan with all those lovely holes and striations! Love the refried bean filling. Fantastic job - one of my favorites! Definitely making these soon!

  10. Now I'M THE ONE craving for Mexican food! Your dishes look amazingly delicious. Great job on the challenge, and thanks for participating!

  11. I'm inspired to make my own tortilla. Your final dish looks pretty and delicious.:)

  12. I love refried beans - they make me really happy :-) Great job on the challenge - see you on the next challenge!

  13. I really like the lacy cheese cup. Its very pretty. I'm glad you had an enjoyable night of Mexican food!


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