Monday, December 15, 2008

Tamale Pie

This is a very tasty casserole that produces one of my very favorite kitchen smells at one point during the cooking process.

2 T. oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 green pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 T. chili powder
2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 c. tomato sauce
1/2 c. water
1 15 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn
1/4 t. salt
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 1/2 c. water
1 c. milk
1 c. cornmeal
1 T. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 large egg, beaten
1 T. butter

Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the onions and garlic and saute until onions begin to color. Add green pepper and jalapeno and stir until pepper is soft. Sprinkle spices on and cook for 2 minutes. (This is the point at which I love the smell!) Add tomato sauce, water, kidney beans, corn and salt and bring to boil. Scrape mixtur into a casserole dish. Top with the cheese.

Meanwhile, bring milk, water and cornmeal mixture to a boil in medium saucepan, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the mixture is very thick and pulls away from the pan (10 minutes, maybe, depending on heat). Remove the pan from heat and add sugar, salt, baking powder and egg. Stir together and spread over the beans and cheese. Top with little bits of butter. Bake 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool 10-15 minutes before eating.

(Adapted from Vegetarian Classics, by Jeanne Lemlin)

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