Tamale Pie

Tamale pie is an American dish made in a casserole and topped with an eggy cornmeal batter that bakes up like cornbread. It’s a darn tasty way to feed your family. Though it shares its name with another of Mexican cuisine, the two are entirely unrelated. I find the easiest way to spread the topping onto the quinoa and bean base is to dollop large spoonfuls evenly on top, then use an offset spatula to spread the cornmeal batter to the edges, covering the entire dish. You can prepare the recipe ahead of time and refrigerate for a few hours before baking.

Tamale Pie

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Tamale pie is an American dish made in a casserole and topped with an eggy cornmeal batter that bakes up like cornbread. It's a darn tasty way to feed your family. Though it shares its name with another of Mexican cuisine, the two are entirely unrelated. I find the easiest way to spread the topping onto the quinoa and bean base is to dollop large spoonfuls evenly on top, then use an offset spatula to spread the cornmeal batter to the edges, covering the entire dish. You can prepare the recipe ahead of time and refrigerate for a few hours before baking.
5 from 1 vote
Course Main Course
Servings 8

Ingredients
 

For the base

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 scant tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 28 ounce can crushed or finely diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • sour cream for serving

For the topping:

  • 1 ½ cup (190 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup buttermilk or whole milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey

Instructions
 

For the filling:

  • Begin by cooking the quinoa. Follow the package directions, then set aside as you prepare the other ingredients.
  • Preheat your oven to 375 F. Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and a pinch of salt and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and all of the spices (oregano, allspice, chili, salt and cocoa), and cook another 1-2 minutes, adjusting the heat if the garlic looks like it is going to burn.
  • Pour in the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened, about 10-15 minutes. If it is splattering adjust the heat, or partially cover with a lid.
  • Add the beans and cooked quinoa. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, which it will likely need. Pour into a casserole dish, I like a deep 9 x 13 dish, and set aside while you make the topping.

For the topping:

  • In a bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt and stir with a whisk to. In a separate bowl mix the eggs, milk, butter, and maple and whisk to combine well. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Fold in the grated cheese and scallions.
  • Dollop the topping over the filling evenly and using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread it out evenly over top. Place in the preheated oven and bake until the top is set, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve warm, with sour cream if desired.
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