instant2Btamale2BpieA way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, that shit true as gold. You put some love in your food and a fool can taste it.”
-Raelle Tucker, True Blood, Cold Ground 2008
This recipe is part of a series, Healthy Vegetarian Mains

This isn’t the tamale pie that I grew up eating. It’s something completely different. It doesn’t really remind me of tamales either, so I feel the title is deceiving. It’s a lovely dish, and I do love corn and beans together. I was drawn to this recipe because of it’s ease, (and I thought it would taste good of course.). I thought if that tastes as good as it sounds, it’s something I can keep the ingredients around to throw together and have dinner in a flash.


The original recipe comes from the Moosewood restaurant’s “New Classics.” (I made a few small changes) in the description it reads, “When you suddenly think ‘we need food, pronto!’ Try this immensely easy and gratifying meal. With it’s ready made polenta, it’s prepared in only 15 minutes.”


A true statement indeed.


Instant Tamale Pie

serves 4

adapted from the Moosewood Restaurant’s “New Classics
1 3/4 cup pinto beans with Mexican seasonings, with juice, 1, 15 oz can
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup salsa, (I used Pace mild, you can use what you like)
1 tsp ground Cumin
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
one whole roll 18 oz. prepared Polenta, plain, or one with Mexican spices
2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
1 cup queso fresco (or use grated cheddar if you wish, or any cheese, jack would be good, or pepper jack if that’s how you roll)
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, add the beans (with the juice) and mash a little with a potato masher. Add the corn, salsa, cumin and oregano and mix. Set aside.
Slice the polenta into 1/2 inch slices and place in a greased 9 inch square baking dish, or a pie plate would work. Pour the bean mixture over the polenta. If you are using a shredded cheese add that now. (I added my cheese at the end because I used queso fresco.)
Bake for 30 minutes. If you are using the queso fresco add it now with the chopped cilantro. If you already added your cheese, top it with your cilantro and you’re done!

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