Monday, October 3, 2011

Tamale Casserole

Wow! I am way behind on my results from vegan week! Yesterday marked the end of vegan week. What was the first thing I ate? An apple cider donut from Curtis Orchard. A very good choice, no?

Since I am so behind I'm reporting on Thursday's menu, which was the following:
  • shredded wheat with soy milk
  • barbecued tofu
  • chili-lime cashews**
  • stuffed poblanos*
  • quinoa salad**
  • pickle
  • broccoli-garlic pasta**
  • potato chips
  • popcorn
  • drinks: coffee, water, seltzer 
Today's recipe is one of my favorites: Tamale Casserole. The recipe comes from my standby, Moosewood Restaurant New Classics. I've made some minor modifications. I love this recipe, because it's quick, healthy, and very satisfying. This recipe makes a double batch of the bean topping. Just a warning: this meal is not pretty to look at, but it sure tastes great.

Tamale Casserole (serves 6-8)
  • 2 15-oz cans pinto beans, with juice
  • 1 C corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 C prepared salsa
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 C cilantro, chopped
  • 1 roll prepared polenta (about 16 oz)
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly oil a baking dish (at least 11 inch). Slice polenta into 1/2 inch rounds, and layer the bottom with a single layer of the polenta.
2. In a medium bowl, pour in the beans. Lightly mash with a potato masher. Add the corn, green onion, salsa, jalapeno, cumin, chili, oregano, salt, and cilantro. Mix til well combined.
3. Pour the bean mixture over the polenta. Place, covered in the oven for 15 mins. Remove cover, and bake for 15 additional mins. Allow to sit 10 mins before serving. Serve with guacamole, fresh salsa, or chunky tomatillo sauce (see below)

                                                       Polenta, ready for the oven

Chunky Tomatillo Sauce (makes 1 1/2 C)
  • 1 C salsa verde
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
1. Combine above ingredients. Allow to sit a few minutes before serving. 
 Kitchen Notes: I used fresh salsa from my coop for this recipe.

Verdict: Yummy. I make this a lot. Great quick dinner. I intend to invert this next time I make it and place the polenta on top. Great comfort food!

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