Vegetable Tamale Pie with Green Salsa

>> Sunday, December 22, 2013

Vegetable Tamale Pie with Green Salsa

The origin of this recipe is a funny, if slightly embarrassing story. A couple of my friends came over once for a tamale-making party. We also decided to make some roasted pepper salsa and cranberry-apple chutney, and I was teaching them how to can the extra sauce.

There was also a bottle of tequila, fresh limes, and some Grand Marnier that we shook into some very strong Margaritas. And a mason jar of cranberry-soaked moonshine.

Junior Johnson's Midnight Moon moonshine
Cranberry moonshine. Lord help me.

By sunset, we'd canned eight pints of salsa and seven half-pints of cranberry chutney, the chicken mixture had stewed all day into a luscious shredded filling, and the portobello and corn filling smelled fantastic. The limes were all gone, and one or all of us might or might not have done a shot of tequila.

Vegetables for Vegan Tamale Pie

And man, those cranberries had soaked up a powerful amount of moonshine. They were little Molotov cocktails bursting in our mouths.

We were working diligently on spreading homemade masa dough into corn wrappers and these tamales - oh, they were the most beautiful ones I've ever made. I was feeling wonderful about my recipe-teaching skills.

But I unwrapped the first ones and they were dry and crumbly...make that powdery, actually. The filling was out of this world, but the corn dough was dry as dust. I read back over my recipe and realized, somewhere in the midst of joking and sipping and stirring and filling, I'd forgotten to add the broth to the dough. Gah!

The next day, after I asked my friends if anyone remembered what happened to the beaters for my mixer, we decided that the remaining tamales could be saved by unwrapping them, mixing the dough with some broth and salsa, and layering them in a casserole dish.

It turned out so well that this may become a staple in our home. You don't have to wrap a casserole in leaves, after all, and this is the hardest part.


2 cups shortening
4 cups masa flour or tamale flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp garlic powder
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp oil
1 pound portobello, button, or other mushroom mixture, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup onion, sliced
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
2 cups salsa verde
Salt and Pepper to taste


Put the shortening in a mixer or food processor and mix until soft and creamy. Stir together the flour, baking powder, and garlic, then slowly add it to the shortening. Pour the broth in a little at a time while mixing until the dough is thoroughly mixed. It should be similar to a very sticky bread dough or a very firm muffin batter.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 11 casserole dish. Spread half the dough into the dish.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and onions and saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the corn and 1 cup of salsa. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer with a lid on for 10 minutes.

Spread the vegetable mixture over the dough in the casserole pan, then spread the rest of the dough over the top. Drizzle the remaining salsa over the top. If you are not a strict vegan, this is an excellent time to top the pie with a mixture of shredded chihuahua and cotija cheeses.

Cover the dish with foil, set it in the middle rack, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the pie is cooked through and the tamale dough is crumbly.

Serve with chopped cilantro and additional salsa verde, if desired.

Serves 4-6.


Rebecca Stahr January 9, 2014 at 12:30 PM  

So where did you find those beaters :) I need to try this version of the recipe. You are right the filling was amazing!

Angela Williams Duea January 9, 2014 at 2:16 PM  

LOL, the beaters were in the bottom of the dishwasher under the rollout tray! I'm thinking my dishwashing friend wanted them extra close to the water spray.

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