Sunday, July 27, 2008

For Sher: Meatless Tamale Pie

One week ago, the food blogging community suffered an unexpected loss. Sher, of What Did You Eat, passed away suddenly. I had a few conversations with Sher, particularly regarding breadmaking, so I wanted to pay tribute to a kind, caring, and humorous fellow baker.

In searching Sher’s blog, I came across a delicious recipe for which I had all the ingredients: Meatless Tamale Pie, which Sher posted on August 21, 2007 for Weekend Herb Blogging. It was especially tasty, reheated, the next day, since even half a recipe feeds a lot of people!

So, in memory of a fellow blogger and baker, I offer Sher’s Meatless Tamale Pie.

Meatless Tamale Pie

(Bon Appétit, January 1999)

Serves 8.


1 pound poblano chilies or 2 cans roasted poblanos or green chilis (use only one can, if you prefer)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 to 2 jalapeño chilies, seeded, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice, drained, 3/4 cup juice reserved
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 15 ounce can drained black beans (About 2 cups)
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
7 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
Tomatoes, sliced
Fresh cilantro sprigs


Roast poblano chilies over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose chilies in paper bag. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed and coarsely chop chilies. If using the canned chilis, drain and clean out the seeds, then chop coarsely.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add corn kernels (don't bother to defrost) and cook until beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add jalapeño chilies, garlic, cumin and oregano; sauté 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in roasted poblano chilies, canned tomatoes, 1/2 cup reserved juice from canned tomatoes, green onions and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly oil 15 x 10 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Combine 5 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in heavy large saucepan. Bring to boil. Combine cornmeal and remaining 2 cups water in medium bowl. Gradually whisk cornmeal mixture into boiling salted water. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until cornmeal is very tender and mixture is thick, stirring often, about 14 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in yogurt.

Spread 2/3 of cornmeal over bottom of prepared dish (cover remaining cornmeal to keep warm). Arrange black beans over cornmeal in dish. Sprinkle beans with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 2 cups cheese over beans. Spoon corn kernel mixture evenly over cheese, spreading with spatula. Spread remaining cornmeal evenly over corn kernel mixture. Arrange tomato slices atop cornmeal, pressing gently. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle remaining 1/4 cup juice from canned tomatoes over. Sprinkle remaining cheese evenly over casserole.

Bake casserole uncovered until heated through and top is golden, about 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm, covered with foil, in 350°F oven until heated through, about 30 minutes.)

Let casserole stand 15 minutes. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve.

Serves 8.


Megan said...

What a nice tribute - I wish I had known her, as I am seeing many great recipes floating in cyberspace today.

I think I will make this to take to a pool party we are attending tonight!

Glenna said...

Lovely memorial to Sher. I love that recipe too.