meatless . #34 {roasted corn + pepper tamale pie}

While at the market Saturday afternoon they were roasting Hatch peppers on their front patio.  They smelled so, so good and even though I’d never had a Hatch pepper, or ever heard of them frankly, I bought two medium heat ones and resigned myself to the fact I’d figure out what to do with then later.  I also bought a bunch of corn, a sweet banana pepper and a bunch of veggies for this week’s lunch salads.  This morning I saw a post on Eat, Live, Run’s blog for a quick tamale pie and thought it sounded really good.  But since I had time, decided to go old school and make the cornmeal base from scratch.  Together with the peppers and corn, which I roasted on the grill during a break in today’s rain, and some extra vegetables, it was really good.  Next time though I’m buying the hot peppers!

I made this in my oven-proof saute/dutch oven pan but you can use a deep pie plate, or a square/rectangular baking dish. You could even do individual pies by using individual ramekins – just reduce the baking time by 10 minutes and put the ramekins on a baking sheet or on top of foil in case they bubbly over a bit. 

Roasted Corn + Pepper Tamale Pie
serves 4, generously

2 tbsp canola oil
2 ears of corn, husks + silks removed
1 large hatch pepper, heat of your choosing {you can substitute any available pepper you’d like}
1 large sweet banana pepper
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, diced – about ½ a small onion
1 cup carrot, diced
½ small green bell pepper, diced 
1 – 16 oz can pinto beans, drained
1 – 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal
4 cups water, divided
3 tbsp butter
1 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 diced avocado, cream cheese, salsa and handful of coarsely chopped cilantro for garnish 

Brush the corn and peppers with the canola oil. Over medium heat, grill until the corn starts to brown and peppers’ skin starts to char and blister.  Remove from heat. Set corn aside to cool; put peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 10 minutes.  When corn is cooled, remove kernels from cobs.  Remove peppers from the bowl and gently peel of skins. Slice peppers in half, remove seeds and cut peppers into ¼” dices.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, saute onions, carrots and bell pepper in the olive oil until just starting to soften; about 6-8 minutes.  Add corn, peppers, pinto beans, tomatoes, cumin and chili pepper.  Cook for 4 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat off and let sit. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk the cornmeal with 1 ½ cups of the water.  In a saucepot, bring the remaining 2 ½ cups of water to a bowl. Slowly add the cornmeal mixture.  Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat. Add butter.  Salt and pepper to taste. 

Grease the backing vessel.  Pour the cornmeal mixture into the vessel, smoothing it out to form a deep crust.  Sprinkle the cheddar cheese on top.  Next, add the vegetable, pepper and bean mixture. Using the back of the spoon, smooth the vegetable mixture.  Sprinkle the monterey jack cheese over the top and bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving with diced avocado, cream cheese, salsa and cilantro. 

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2 Responses to meatless . #34 {roasted corn + pepper tamale pie}

  1. Heather Cramer says:

    I’m so glad you posted this! I had read ELR’s version and thought about tagging it to make someday but decided not to because it just wasn’t *that* appealing. Your version looks like it nails it – and I also appreciate you’re making your own polenta… I’m not a fan of the tubed versions! I can’t wait to try it! 🙂 [ps do you mind if I pin it on pinterest? I must confess – I’m late asking – I’ve already pinned your grilled bread & tomato salad!!]

    • victoria says:

      We really like how it turned out. I had the right amount of spice and heat. If I make it again I might mix the cheddar cheese into the polenta and add an extra 1/2 cup. The bread salad is so, so good. Fine to pin/link. Thanks for asking.

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