Hot Tamale Pie

Source: May All Be Fed: Diet for a New World
Date tried: June 19, 2014
Yield: 1 8” square pie
Time needed: 1 hour (using cooked beans)

This is one of my favorite recipes from this cookbook.  Used canned beans or cook them ahead of time.  Once the vegetables are chopped up, the process is fast and simple.  Within 15 minutes you have the pie in the oven.

In spite of the name, I find this only mildly spicy.  But tastes vary.  Feel free to increase the quantities of chili powder and/or cayenne to taste.

One change I made in the process was to put only 2 of the 3 cups of water on to boil when beginning the cornmeal crust. I mixed the cup of cornmeal with the remaining cup of cold water.  Then I added the lemon juice and mustard to this mix.  When the water boiled I had a single cup of combined ingredients to add to it.

I find with cornmeal, flour or any fine grain, such as cream of wheat, it is much easier to make a paste with cold water first, then add it to the boiling water, stirring quickly.  Much less chance of lumps forming in the porridge or gravy. For some reason, many cookbooks do not incorporate this procedure in their recipe instructions.

This recipe keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Just reheat in the oven for 30 minutes.  (Actually it’s good cold, too.)


Hot Tamale Pie
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium bell pepper (red, yellow or green), seeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 16-oz can unsweetened tomato sauce
1 16-oz can pinto beans drained and rinsed
1 ear corn kernels cut off cob or 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper
3 cups water
1 cup yellow stone-ground cornmeal
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp fine sea salt

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or wok over medium-high heat.
Add the onions, bell pepper and garlic.
Cook until softened (6-8 minutes)
Remove from heat.
Stir in the tomato sauce, beans, corn, chili powder, salt, cumin and cayenne.
Pour into an 8” by 8” baking dish.

Preheat oven to 350oF

Boil the water (or use process outlined above).
Add cornmeal, lemon juice, mustard and salt and stir until mixed.
Bring to a boil over medium heat, then immediately reduce heat to low.
Simmer, stirring often until thickened (3-5 minutes)

Spread the cornmeal mixture over the bean mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Let cool 10 minutes before serving.


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