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A festive casserole fit for any holiday meal.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium green or red bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups cooked fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
2 1/4 cups canned or cooked pinto beans
2 cups chopped ripe tomatoes,
or 14- to 16-ounce can diced, tomatoes, lightly drained
2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt to taste
1 1/4 cups cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese, or 1 cup grated cheddar-style soy cheese, optional
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté until it is translucent. Add the garlic and bell pepper and continue to sauté until the onion is golden brown. Add the corn kernels, pinto beans, tomatoes,
and seasonings. Stir well and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt. Remove from the heat.
Bring 5 cups of water to a rolling boil in a heavy saucepan or double boiler. Slowly pour the cornmeal into the water in a thin, steady stream, stirring continuously to avoid lumping. Add the salt and cook
over very low heat, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil a shallow, 1 1/2- to 2 quart baking dish and line the bottom with half of the cooked cornmeal. Pour over it over the skillet mixture and sprinkle with the optional grated cheese. Top with the remaining cornmeal, patting it in smoothly. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the cornmeal is golden brown and crusty. Let stand for
10 minutes, then cut into squares to serve.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|