Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chipotle Tamale Pie

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I patted myself on the back hard for this one. Tamale pie! So exotic! (Nevermind that there are probably hundreds of similar tamale pie recipes) It's a casserole! It's a pie! It's... it's... something that I've made before. It was not until after we had dinner and I downloaded pictures onto my computer that I realized this tamale pie looks suspiciously like Southwest Surprise, a recipe that I made back in April of 2009. Well, count me... surprised.

So I don't have the best recall on the stuff that I've made before, but this was delicious. I added some chipotle peppers in the beans so they're just a little smoky and spicy. The end result was delicious and hearty with contrasting textures and flavors like fluffy sweet cornbread and creamy spicy beans. Probably not the most original recipe, but a good one nonetheless.

You'll need:
  • 1 medium yellow onion, medium diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chilies
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (cheddar would be great here too)
  • chopped cilantro (optional garnish)
  • 1 recipe of Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread (I used soy milk instead of buttermilk and Earth Balance instead of butter. Worked out great)
Begin by heating up canola oil in a heavy medium pot until the fat shimmers. Add red pepper flakes, cumin, oregano and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Turn heat down to medium low. Add onion and bell pepper. Stir and allow vegetables to cook until they are softened, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add green chilies, tomato sauce, chipotle peppers, black beans, pinto/red kidney beans and water. Season. Stir and bring liquid to simmer. Allow mixture to simmer for another 15 minutes or so until the liquid has reduced and thickened.

In the meantime, combine all the ingredients for cornbread. You can also use boxed corn bread mix, just prepare up to the point prior to baking. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Transfer the beans and vegetables into a baking dish. Spread out the mixture evenly to cover the bottom of the baking dish. Pour cornbread mix on top. Spread to create even surface. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove and allow tamale pie to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped cilantro. 

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