Friday, February 19, 2010

Vegetarian Verde Tamale Cornbread Pie

Has anyone noticed I haven't done anything vegetarian on my blog yet for Freezer meal Friday?! How totally lame is that? My dear husband pointed it out, along with eyebrow raise and look of disgust. So...I'm going to totally redeem myself (at least in the food area) by adding this vegetarian Tamale Pie. Yes, you can make it with meat if you want. I don't because frankly...Ace won't touch it that way. Let's face reality people, shall we? Can I hork down an entire casserole by myself? Not without ending up laying face up with those cartoon "X's" where my eyes once where and my belly the size of a basketball. So, this one is for Ace. Smooches babe. Tamale pie can be debated for it's basic make-up based on the region you grew up and the amount of exposure you really have had to authentic Hispanic cooking. This is not the authentic one with masa dough and highly seasoned meat. This is the "Mormon-Mexican"version, minus the cream of mushroom soup and sour cream. I was raised on "Mexican" casseroles that start that way...and you know who you are. Not that I have anything against that. Don't be offended. I'm just saying this isn't real Hispanic food. It's a lot milder...and a lot more like the cornbread topping that goes on Chili pie. I think you'll like it if you like casseroles like that. My basic upbringing makes it possible for me to eat totally gourmet one day...and down home the other. If you want the authentic Tamale pie, I'll have to do another tutorial. Can you add cooked meat to this recipe. Heck yes. Do it. I'd suggest shredded beef or chicken...or hamburger (if you eat cow). One pound of meat added to this recipe would work perfectly...just be sure to add more seasoning. Can I have a mooo of happiness? Anyone?

As for the Freezer friendly Tamale Cornbread Pie, I always start mine like this...cumin and dried red jalapeno flakes. Crushed to oblivion.

See, there's something kind of gourmet right? Crushing my own spices is that side coming out.

Chile Verde Ingredients:
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove minced garlic
1T vegetable oil
1/4 tsp cumin, ground
1/4 tsp chile pepper, ground (use the variety your family will eat)
1T lime juice
1/2 cup green chile verde salsa
1/4 cup diced green chile
2 cups cooked pinto beans (about one 15 oz can, undrained)

Cornmeal topping ingredients:
1 cup all purpose baking mix (I used my homemade Bisquick made from whole wheat)
1/4 cup tamale masa mix (or if you don't have it local you can use cornmeal)
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1/2 tsp chipolte rub or southwestern seasoning

Directions: In a large family size skillet with lid, saute the onions in the vegetable oil until very well brown. Yes, I brown them for chile verde. Same as I do for fajitas. That adds a lot of flavor. Add the minced garlic and saute a minute more. Add remaining chile ingredients and simmer 5 minutes. Place in an 8 inch by 12 inch casserole for a family of 6, or divide between two loaf pans for a family of 3, (or ones with parents and small kiddos). Allow chile to cool a few minutes while combining the topping ingredients.

For topping:
Combine masa mix,

baking mix,
I really like this rub. It's crazy light smoky flavor along with that good Southwest kick is a quick grab for adding a lot of flavor. Half a teaspoon can totally transform a bland cornbread into something really snazzy. Using snazzy in a sentence means I have spent way to much time with Cussing Granny. Add egg and water. Combine until just mixed. It will be lumpy. Dot on top of the chile verde. I freeze it uncooked. Yikes. That way it is fresh when we eat it.

Spread out the topping to cover the chile mixture. If you make two loaf pans, you will need to divide the topping between the two casseroles.

Cover tightly with foil and freeze with cooking instructions. Or to bake right away, transfer into a 400 degree oven and bake 35 minutes.
About ten minutes before it is done baking I sometimes top ours with 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar and some olives.
Freezer meal directions:
Defrost in fridge 24 hours and transfer to a 400 degree oven. Bake uncovered 35-40 minutes, adding cheese the last 10 minutes if desired.
If I'm feeling really crazy I may add a little crushed tortilla chips.
Serve with salsa, sour cream, shredded lettuce (we add shredded spinach to our lettuce as well) and some crushed tortilla chips.
It looks festive. It tasted festive.

Yeah, I'm goofy, but I do like a fluffy cornbread topping on my tamale pie. Okay, what's not to love.
There you go.


Heather Hunt said...

MOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! From a nice tender heifer!

Chef Tess said...


J. P. said...

Vladyfan has caught on to the "moo of happiness" I see ;)

And speaking of "mormon mexican" have I got a humdinger for you! "chinese" like you've never seen it before from a late 70's era ward cook book. Its "amazing"

Chef Tess said...

Mooo!! Hee hee Lisa! I see you've caught on to my duel meaning of the word "amazing" is such a positive way of sometimes"I'm amazed anyone would put that together..." See...and even then it still sounds wonderful. lol. Oh dear, I fear I will be getting some good email from this comment! Like "amazing" pork and beans on spaghetti...hmmm. Amazing.