Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Real Tamale Pie

i found this recipe in an awesome book called "Vegetarian Planet" by Didi Emmons. this recipe is the best tamale pie i've ever tried because it uses masa instead of cornmeal!! The book also has some great bread recipes...if i am quick i will get a couple of them tried and posted before the book goes back to the library. :o) Enjoy!!

4 c. sliced onions
2 large bell peppers

2 c. masa harina
1 stick butter
1 tsp salt
3/4 c. water

1 & 1/2 c. (15 oz can) cooked and drained pinto or black beans
4 oz soft, mild chevre (goat cheese)

1 T. chili pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds
28 oz can crushed plum tomatoes
2 minched garlic cloves
1 ancho pepper, soaked in hot water (optional)
1 pinch cayenne
1 pinch sugar
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup chopped scallions

Preheat the oven 450 degrees. Spread the sliced onions on one ungreased baking sheet and the whole peppers on another. Put both baking sheets into the oven. Roast the veggies for 25-30 minutes (stirring only the onions once or twice until brown and soft.) Take peppers out after skin blisters and swells. Lower oven to 375 degrees.

Make the masa dough: mix masa, salt, & butter with your hands, squeezing the dough thru your fingers. Add the water slowly, stirring and squeezing with your hand. Mix until the ingredients are blended.

To assemble the pie:

Remove the skin from the peppers, split them open, and discard the seeds. Cut into strips or leave in one piece. Mash the beans with potato masher, leaving enough texture. Press the dough into a 9x9 inch baking pan. Spread the beans evenly over the dough. Lay the peppers on the beans. Dot with goat cheese, then cover the cheese with the onions. Cover the pan with foil. Bake for 40 minutes at 375.

While pie is baking, heat chili powder and cumin seeds in sauce pan over medium heat, shaking the pan constantly, until the seeds have begun to release their aroma (about a minute). Add tomatoes and garilc. If you are using the ancho chili, remove from water, chop it fine and add it to the tomatoes. Simmer the tomato sauce for 25 minutes, stirring once or twice. Toward the end of the simmering, add the cayenne, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.

When pie is finished, cut it into 4 pieces. Spoon a little of the tomato sauce on each of the plates and place each pieceon the sauce. Garnish with teh scallions and serve.

Notes: i found the dough to be too dry when prepared as above, so i think i might try to add a little more water--to the consistancy of pie dough almost. However, if you are making this dish to have leftovers, i would make the dough as recipe states, because if you store the dish with the sauce on it, the water from the sauce makes the tamale dough texture just right (not too dry you need to drink a half gallon of water/slice.) :o)

also, i assembled the dough and the beans in my pan, and made a "half and half". I placed the cherve, onions & peppers on one side and cooked sliced carrots and some colby jack (because i didn't think Riona would like the goat cheese.) The colby jack side was equally as good (but better with onions)--just an idea to make it kid friendly tho.

a fourth of this pie is a huge amount of food (masa is quite hardy!!), so we've found that one can get by with a sixth or an eighth quite nicely!