There’s something heartwarming about serving a pie for dinner. Tamale Pie is a delicious low-fat, high-protein pie that is made with a cornmeal crust. It is especially quick to make if you use canned beans.

SERVES 4 TO 6

3 tablespoons oil

2 medium onions, diced

1 large green bell pepper, cut into ВЅ-inch dice

1 teaspoon chili powder

ВЅ teaspoon ground cumin

16-ounce can diced tomatoes, well drained (1 cup pulp)

16-ounce can kidneyВ beansimageВ (2 cups cooked), drained, rinsed, and drained again

1 cup corn, fresh or frozen

ВЅ teaspoon salt

Liberal seasoning freshly ground pepper

CRUST

2ВЅ cups cold water

1ВЅ cups cornmeal

ВЅ teaspoon chili powder

ВЅ teaspoon salt

1 cup (4 ounces) grated Monterey Jack cheese

1 tablespoon butter, cut into bits

  1. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and green pepper, and cook until tender yet still crunchy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the chili powder, cumin, tomatoes, and beans, and toss well. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is heated through and begins to get dry.
  3. Add the corn, salt, and pepper and cook 1 minute more. Remove from the heat. May be prepared to this point and chilled up to 24 hours in advance. Bring to room temperature before proceeding with the next step.
  4. To make the crust: Butter a pie plate. Preheat the oven to 350В°F. Place the water, cornmeal, chili powder, and salt in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and whisk frequently with a wire whisk until smooth and thick. (As it begins to thicken whisk constantly.) When the mixture begins to tear away from the sides of the pan it is ready, about 5 minutes.
  5. Immediately spread two-thirds of the cornmeal on the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Smooth over with a rubber spatula. Top with the bean mixture and smooth over the top. Evenly sprinkle on the cheese. Top with the remaining cornmeal mixture by dropping on small spoonfuls, and use your fingers to spread it out. Top with the butter.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes, or until lightly golden. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.