Monday, April 9, 2012

Tamale Pie

I hope you had a lovely weekend, sharing it with family, and celebrating our Savior. The husband and I had a pretty low-key, but relaxing day. We went to church and then headed to lunch, it of course being Mexican food. We both are big fans of this cuisine and it sure does help that we live here in Mexico :) So today I thought I would share this recipe... Mexican version of Shepard's pie. The bottom layer is polenta  (made of cornmeal) and topped with a mixture of beans, veggies, and cheese, and then garnished with some salsa and jalapenos.
Tamale Pie: (8-10 servings, depending on proportion of slices)
Adapted from: A couple Cooks
1 cup of polenta
1 bunch green onions, sliced, green & white parts separated
3 cups pinto beans
1 cup frozen corn
1 (15oz) can of diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup cilantro, choopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp chili spice
1 tsp dried oregeno
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp tabasco or hot sauce (optional)
black pepper
1-2 cups shredded Mexican Cheese Blend

4 cups water
1 tsp salt
1-2 tbsp butter*

sour cream

For the polenta, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once the water begins to boil, slowly add 1 cup cornmeal, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Continue to whisk until the cornmeal becomes thick, about 1-2 minutes. Add 1 tsp salt. Reduce heat to low and stir occasionally for 20 minutes, it should lose the raw flavor of cornmeal. Turn off the heat and add in butter and pepper. You can always spice this step up to by adding in cheese, spices, or herbs. Pour into a 9x11 baking dish. You can make the polenta beforehand and let cool in the refrigerator (I have found this method to work better once putting the rest of the pie together). 
Preheat oven to 350 F.For the pie mixture, heat a medium skillet pan with a little oil, saute in sliced onion bulbs and garlic, sprinkle salt and pepper. Once a little browned (about 1 minute) add in pinto beans, corn, tomatoes and let simmer on low for a couple minutes. Turn off the skillet and mash about 1/4 of the mixture with a fork or masher. Add the cilantro, spices, and green onions to mixture. Spoon the mixture on top of the polenta. Top with cheese and bake for 20 minutes until heated through. Let cool for 5 minutes, cut slices and garnish with whatever you would like. 
* For vegan version sub Earth Balance butter spread

Make the polenta
Pour polenta into casserole dish & refrigerate
Top w/ bean, veggie mixture, & cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes.
 Garnish, & serve.
I like to serve mine over some lettuce.

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