October 20, 2013

Mexican Shepherd's Pie

I was recently lamenting in the Herbie Parents Facebook Group that my daughter is getting sick of all my usual dishes. She told me last week that she never wants to eat tofu scramble "EVER again.!" In her defense I do make it a lot, like a lot-lot. I can't help it! Isa Chandra's recipe over a stovetop-heated corn tortilla with a bunch of fresh guacamole on top is the greatest breakfast known to mankind.
Anyhoo, the point is that I requested new recipe ideas in Herbie Parents and I got a lot of great suggestions in return, including a recipe called "Katie's Mexican Tamale Pies," from the Chocolate-Covered Katie blog.
I am far too lazy to make teeny pies out of anything that isn't sugary sweet and/or doused with chocolate, but I definitely liked the looks of this recipe. So, I took the basic idea of the recipe, tinkered with it and added a a few new things, then casseroled the whole thing and topped the finished product with guacamole.
The verdict from my five-year-old? Total success! She loved it. I hope you will too. Special thanks goes out to my peeps in Herbie Parents for this one!!

1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 small package frozen corn (about 2 cups)
1 12-ounce package LightLife Smart Ground
2 tablespoons Homemade Taco Seasoning (or more, to taste)
1/4 cup vegetable broth, or water
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 2/3 cups water

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place the beans, tomatoes, corn, SmartGround, taco seasoning and broth into a large pot and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until corn is thawed and all ingredients are well-seasoned. Taste, taste, taste to make sure it's perfect. 
  • While your filling is warming up, go ahead and prep your polenta topping. 
  • Mix the cornmeal, salt, garlic powder and water in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until boiling. Then, reduce the heat the low and allow the mixture to simmer until thickened, still stirring frequently.
  • Spray a medium-sized casserole dish with a light coating of oil. Place your bean filling into it, then top with the polenta, spreading it evenly over the top.
  • Bake for 45 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and allow to sit for five or ten minutes, until bubbling stops around the edges.
  • I highly recommend that you whip up some homemade guacamole while your casserole is cooling. It tastes A-M-A-Z-I-N-G on the top!
  • The next time I make this, I will probably throw in some onions and fresh cilantro, or maybe some fresh homemade pico de gallo. I think any or all would be fantastic additions! I just didn't have any on hand tonight.
  • Enjoy!

P.S. I know Mexican Shepherd's Pie is a dorky name, but I couldn't think of anything else to call this dish. It looks remarkably like a shepherd's pie when you cut into it! Check this out...

1 comment:

Tanya said...

My mom use to make this when I was a child and it was one of my favorites. We called it Tamale Casserole. She added black olives, too.

I think I found what we are having for dinner tonight! Thanks!