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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

vegetarian tamale casserole

on sundays we love to cook and make big dinners to last us all week long.  it sure makes life easy to come home on a weeknight and just heat something up in the microwave.  recently we made this vegetarian tamale casserole.  it really reminded me of a mexican version of shepherd's pie, with polenta on top instead of mashed potatoes.  this is healthy comfort food with a kick of spice.  the recipe makes enough for leftovers to last all week long.

vegetarian tamale casserole
prep time: 15 minutes
cooking time: 90 minutes
yields: 8 servings
adapted from annie's eats

2 (28 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 (15 oz.) can black beans
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon dried oregano
8 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups cornmeal

preheat your oven to 475 degrees F.  lined a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.  drain the cans of diced tomatoes, but reserve 2 cups of the liquid.  in a large bowl, combine the drained tomatoes, chopped onion, minced garlic, oil, and salt/pepper to taste.  toss to combine, then spread evenly on the foil-lined baking sheet.  roast for 35-40 minutes, until the veggies begin to brown around the edges.

remove the veggies from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.  transfer the roasted veggies to a blender.  add the chipotle, chili powder, lime juice, and the reserved 2 cups of tomato juice.  puree until just slightly chunky.  in a large bowl combine the blended sauce with the rinsed and drained beans, corn, cilantro, and oregano.  toss to combine.  evenly distribute into a 9x13 baking dish.  evenly spread the shredded cheese on top.  set aside

in a saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil.  slowly add the cornmeal while whisking vigorously to prevent clumping.  reduce the heat to medium-low and whisk until the cornmeal softens and the mixture thickens (about 3 minutes).  remove from the heat and spread over the casserole with a spatula.

place the casserole on a baking sheet to avoid a mess if it bubbles over.  cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.  remove the foil and continue to bake for 30 minutes, until the crust begins to brown and the filling bubbles.  let cool for 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.

love, laurie

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