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A Slightly Cramped, Very Tasty Pueblo Pie

November 5, 2011

In the last few days, I have been looking for some good Thanksgiving recipes. Specifically, vegetarian ones. Since I am also by myself this year for the Big Thanks I’m planning to go a bit nontraditional with a single awesome dish. While in my searches, I came across this Pueblo Pie. I’m still debating on my Thanksgiving dish, but I decided to go ahead and try this one now. It looked pretty interesting and I figured I could adapt it a bit to be only from cans (hello giant can sale at the City Market). While I love fresh veggies, in the winter in Colorado, I am not sure the local freshness I enjoy really exists, so its always nice to have some canned veggies on hand. Its especially nice when I can have them on hand to make certain recipes (like this one) on short notice.

Anyways, I decided it was time for a real, warm home cooked dinner since the cold is officially here to stay and the chills are hard to abate. It also seemed a bit like a chili, which I decided could not be bad. Here goes-

Pueblo Pie:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 medium green or red bell peppers, diced

1 15oz can corn

2 15oz can beans (I used pinto and black)

1 14- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, lightly drained

2 teaspoons cumin, or to taste

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Salt to taste

1 1/4 cups cornmeal

5 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup shredded cheddar

(sour cream or jalapenos to garnish)

Directions:

In a large skillet, heat oil and add onion, garlic and peppers. Cook until soft and beginning to brown. Stir in corn, beans tomatoes and spices and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, start 5 cups of water to boil in a medium pot. Turn oven to 375F. Once water boils, stir in salt and cornmeal (pour cornmeal slowly and steadily, whisk vigorously at the same time to prevent lumps). When cornmeal has absorbed all of the water, grease a 3-5 quart baking dish (or a 9×13). Place half the cornmeal in the bottom, top with the veggies, then half the cheese, then the rest of the cornmeal and the rest of the cheese. Bake for 25-30minutes.

**I had a few minor issues with this recipe that I would change, so I will discuss them here. First of all…I used a dish that was too small (the original recipe called for a 1.5-2 quart dish). I realized this when I put it in the oven but by the time I had everything layered in there it was too late. So use your judgment…use a bigger dish if you think you need to. I also found my cornmeal immediately soaked up all the water and if I left it to simmer for as long at the original recipe said, it would have just dried out. So I didn’t let it simmer, I basically added it to the water and it was ready to go. For reference, I used plain, Kroger brand yellow cornmeal, it doesn’t appear to be a “quick” cornmeal..if those exist.

^note the spill-over…

BUT it is sooo yummy. It is like a chili with cornbread dumplings in it. CHILI. WITH. CORNBREAD. DUMPLINGS?! Seriously, so great. The whole topping thing seems weird at first, but the contrast of the cheesy, drier top compared to the soft cornmeal at the bottom is great.

I will be making this again..only next time, I will use a larger bake ware.

Enjoy!

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