TAMALE PIe - The Hearty Vegetable

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Makes enough for two 1.75-quart round baking dishes, or one 3-quart (9”X13”) baking dish.

After baking, the tamale pie can be stored tightly covered in the freezer for a month. Re-heat in the oven covered with foil.

Add kidney and pinto beans, cumin, cayenne pepper and extra tomatoes to the vegetable mixture and call it “chili pie.”

Ingredients
For the cornbread topping
-1/2 stick butter (4 Tbs), melted
-1 C. milk
-1 egg
-1 ¼ C. cornmeal (preferably finely ground masa harina)
-1 C. all-purpose flour
-1 Tb. sugar
-1 ½ tsps. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. salt

For the filling
-1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
-1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
-1-2 large white or yellow onions, diced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-3-5 green onions, white and light green parts sliced, dark green parts reserved for slicing and garnishing at the time of serving
-About 4 cups other vegetables of choice, such as peeled and diced carrots, diced bell peppers, and corn (fresh or frozen)
-1 Tb. oil
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Other spices to taste, such as crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Method
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
-Grease baking dish(es).
-In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
-Add the white/yellow onions, green onions, a pinch of salt (and crushed red pepper flakes if using). Sauté until translucent and just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
-Add the other vegetables, (except for fresh corn if using) and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
-Clear a spot in the center of the pan and add the garlic. Stir constantly for about 30 seconds.
-Add the tomatoes and cook for 5-10 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
-Stir in the beans (and corn if using), remove from heat and pour into baking dish(es).
-Meanwhile, prepare the cornbread topping. In a large bowl, beat the milk and egg together.
-In a medium-sized bowl, combine cornmeal, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
-Add the dry ingredients to the milk and egg mixture. Stir until just moistened (batter will be lumpy).
-Stir the melted butter into the batter.
-Spread the batter evenly atop the vegetable and bean mixture.
-Loosely tent the baking dish(es) with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
-Remove the foil and bake for about 30 minutes more, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cornbread topping comes out clean.
-Serve with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, and the sliced dark green parts of the green onions.