I really had my eye on the dessert section, but since I, Amy, usually am the one cooking desserts at home and for TCV, I decided to branch out into entrée section just to set up a nice challenge. Bianca's recipe (below) led me through every step and answered any question that came up during the fun process of making this tamale pie. It turned out spicy and full of veg, just like a big, quick tamale -- minus the corn husks and also the exorbitant amount of time and prep. Check out Bianca's blog, Vegan Crunk, and be sure to get yourself a copy of her book this week.
Hot Tamale Pie
(Yields 4 to 6 servings)
If you plan on making homemade tamales, you'd better have a whole day set aside to do so. Though the laborious task yields delicious results, who has time for all that? I created this Hot Tamale Pie as a tasty shortcut for busy folks with a taste for tamales.
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup cold water
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 to 1 teaspoon seasoned salt (depending on how salty your broth is)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
1 14-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon cumin
Whisk the cornmeal into the water in a medium saucepan. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. At the first sign of bubbling, cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture is thick, stirring often to prevent lumps. Stir in 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the seasoned salt and set aside.
Heat the oil on medium heat in a large skillet with sides or a sauce pan. Add the onion and cook and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook and stir for 1 more minute. Add the green bell pepper and cook and stir for 5 to 7 minutes or until bell pepper begins to soften.
Stir in the tomatoes, pinto beans, corn, nutritional yeast, chili powder, seasoned salt, and cumin. Heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Spread half of the cornmeal mixture along the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Top with 4 cups of filling (if you can't fit it all in, save the surplus filling for nachos later). Spread the rest of the cornmeal mixture over the filling, taking the mixture to the sides of the pan (it’s okay if some filling is visible). Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is slightly crusty and browned.