Comfort Food: Awesome Vegetarian Tamale Pie
Recipe from


6 cups cooked pinto beans
1 16 oz package frozen corn kernels
1 onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1 clove garlic chopped fine
1 jalapeno chopped fine
oil for saute-ing
1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped
1 large can diced tomatoes.
1 tsp cumin
1 tbs chili powder
salt to taste
2 c grated colby jack cheese
For the topping:
1 1/2 white corn meal
1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 c buttermilk
2 tbs oil or melted butter
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375.

Saute bell pepper, onion, garlic, and jalapeno until tender. Remove from heat and add corn kernels, pinto beans, chopped cilantro,canned tomatoes and seasoning. If mixture seems very dry add a little tomato juice or water. Spread in 13×9 pan. Top with cheese.

Mix cornmeal, flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Stir together beaten egg, melted butter, and butter milk. You can also add 1 can of chiles at this point if you like. Stir the cornmeal mixture into the egg mixture, beating until smooth. Pour over top of cheese layer and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until cornbread tests done and bean mixture is heated through.
Ali vs. The Kitchen, Round 1
“It looks like a bomb went off in here.” My sister comes into the kitchen, asking me when she gets to eat. There are splashes of egg yolk, buttermilk and oil all over the counter. And a thin plume of smoke is rising off the bits of onion and pepper that I dropped on the burner. I’ve somehow managed to get flour everywhere. Even on the poor dog, who’s been happily licking the floor clean of anything edible.

I’m on my fourth try at this dish or some variation of it. The recipe I got off the Internet is pretty simple. I think this time I might actually pull it off. “Well, it smells good.” My sister’s watching me try to get the tamale pie out of the oven without burning my arms. I let it cool down and serve us each a piece, fingers crossed.

At first, it’s delicious. And then about 10 seconds later the burning starts. First on my tongue and then it makes my nose run and my eyes water and spreads down my throat. Until I’m coughing and running to the fridge to fill a glass with ice water.

The Journey to Gourmet

                         Christmas Dinner at Mom's House

On my mother’s side of the family, cooking is considered art. All the women have their piece de resistance. Tia Gui makes pasta with a mushroom cream sauce. Tia Jean is known for her cocktails which, at 92, she still mixes with cubes of vodka that she keeps at the back of her freezer. My grandmother baked a corn soufflé that we eat every year at Thanksgiving. And my mother’s claim to fame is everything. (I’m not kidding, the woman can cook)

A couple of months ago, I decided it's time for me to find my dish. Problem is, I’m clumsy when it comes to cooking. Growing up, I never bothered to try- the kitchen was my mother’s territory unless I was helping her clean it. This made me great at keeping a house neat but hopeless when it came to actually feeding myself.

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Ali - Oct 4 2008 9:36 PM
Lol, you know, I actually understand why people are vegetarian now. It feels so much better. I don`t think I can give up meat,(main reason-burgers) but I`m not eating as much of it.

HumbyZine - Oct 4 2008 4:05 PM