Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Southern-style tamale pie

Being from the South means that you probably love grits. I know I do. I prefer my grits simple with salt, pepper and butter. Sometimes with cheese. My grandfather—who lived in south Georgia—would add tomatoes to his grits. Most of the grits at restaurants or breakfast joints are usually a disappointment. But my mom's grits are always good. I had an itch for the comfort food recently, so I bought a bag of Bob's Red Mill corn grits. You can also use this mixture to make polenta (Italian cousin to grits).

Josh was born and raised in Buffalo, so he doesn't share my love of grits. At my begging he's tasted them, but he just doesn't enjoy the texture. When I saw this recipe for tamale pie, I thought he might enjoy it. And boy, was I right.
This pie is  gluten-free and dairy-free. Feel free to add your own version of veggie fillings or a different flavor of sauce. I added sweet potatoes when I made this the other night, but I'll omit those and just add more garlic, onion and greens next time. Don't be intimidated by the steps below, this recipe is fairly easy and will definitely win over a crowd!

Tamale pie with green sauce
Adapted from Bauman College recipe
1 c grits/polenta (label should read corn grits)
3 c water or veggie broth
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp oregano
3 tbsp tomato paste
3 cups collard greens, cut into chiffonade
sea salt & pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350. Boil 3 cups of water. Add corn grits, stirring. Cook for five minutes, continuing to stir. Add dash of cayenne, sea salt and pepper. Set aside to cool.

Add 1 tbsp coconut oil to saute pan over medium heat. Add onion, cooking for 5-8 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, cumin, cayenne, oregano. Cook for a few more minutes until you start to smell the garlic. Add the tomato paste, stirring well into the onion mixture. Then add the collard greens. If the greens start sticking to the pan, add a bit of water. Remove from heat when the greens are cooked, but not overly wilted.

Use the other tbsp of coconut oil to oil an ovenproof casserole dish. Spread two thirds of the grits into the bottom of the dish and up the sides to make the bottom layer of crust. Add the collard green mixture evenly across the crust. Then add the rest of the grits, spreading to make the top of the pie. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top of the pie starts to brown. Set aside to cool and then cut into slices.

Green sauce
1 cup cilantro, rinsed and chopped
1 small shallot, minced
1 small jalepeno, seeded and diced
juice of one lime
1/4 c feta or goat cheese (optional)

Blend all ingredients until the mixture is smooth. If it's too spicy, add more cheese or plain yogurt. Drizzle over your tamale pie slice. But be careful, you might just want to eat it with a spoon!


ali said...

looks delicious!

jenn from midlife modern said...

That is right up my Southern-style alley! That is definitely something I would make myself. Thanks for the great idea!

Unknown said...

Hi Ali & Jenn! I was surprised at how easy and yummy this pie was. Definitely will be making this again. I hope you enjoy!

Sarah B said...

Wow, this look so good - and totally funny that we both wrote about corn this week. Same wavelength indeed.

Can't wait to make this :)
xo, Sarah B

Maria said...

Love all the spices there, this sounds delicious!

JTG said...

This was sooooooo good. We inhaled it. Two nights in a row. Green sauce on everything!

E.L.R.I said...

Wow! Mmmm! I will try this. Wonderful blog!

Mike said...

Huge fan of the fact that the pie is gluten and milk free.