Monday, August 31, 2009

Southwest Shepherd's Pie

After speculating that one could use the taco filling recipe to make a kind of Tamale Pie, I just had to test it out! Elspeth isn't keen on tortillas but loves Shepherd's Pie, so I thought she might really enjoy a Southwest version of it. I don't really like the name Tamale Pie (what does it mean?), so opted to focus on its relationship to Shepherd's Pie.

I went to my trusty Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, figuring she must have a cornbread recipe, and she did. I halved the recipe and spread it over an 8 inch square Pyrex pan about 2/3 full of taco filling. Sadly, I'm still without a regular oven (long story), so I had to adapt for the toaster oven. Madison wants you to bake the cornbread at 425 degrees, but I put the toaster oven on 400 and reduced the cooking time to 20 minutes. About halfway through, I needed to cover the pie with foil, as the proximity to the burners in the toaster oven was over-browning the cornbread.

We were very pleased with the end result and will definitely be making this again.

1 recipe Taco Filling
1/2 c. cornmeal
1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 c. milk
1 egg
2 TBSP butter, melted
1 1/2 TBSP agave nectar (or honey or sugar)

  1. Preheat a full-size oven to 425 degrees or a toaster oven to 400 degrees
  2. Firmly pack the taco filling to fill an 8 inch square pan to about 2/3, then butter the remaining top 1/3 of the dish
  3. Whisk together the dry ingredients for the cornbread in a small bowl and make a well in it
  4. Measure the milk into a 2 cup liquid measuring cup then add the remaining ingredients to the cup and whisk together
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the well of dry ingredients
  6. Stir until the batter just comes together
  7. Spread the batter over the taco filling quickly and place in the oven
  8. Set the timer for 10 minutes to start if using a toaster oven, then check to see if you need to cover with foil. If using a regular oven, start with 20 minutes
  9. Take the southwest shepherd's pie from the oven when the cornbread is cooked-through and lightly browned and the filling is bubbling

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