I love tamales. I love tamale pie. I grew up in New Mexico, so that's my comfort food. (Well, Jewish food is comfort food for me too, but that's another genre to tackle.) I got really excited by the idea of making tamale pie, but then while it was cooking, it smelled a little weird and so I dropped my expectations way down. Thankfully, it was delicious!!!
1 tube of pre-made polenta (or make your own)
1 can refried beans with green chile
1 small can of chopped mild green chiles
1 small can of sliced black olives
1 sliced tomato
About 1/2 cup shredded cheddar substitute (I used Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds)
Slice thin layers of polenta and use them to cover the bottom of a greased oven-safe dish (I used a cast iron pan wiped with olive oil). Add a layer of refried beans, topped with half the green chiles and half the olives, half the tomato slices, and half the "cheese". Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until hot.
I topped my tamale pie with Tofutti sour cream substitute, and served it with a simple salad of torn lettuce, sliced cucumber and orange pepper, tossed with extra virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar.
The tamale pie is kinda mushy so it's nice to have something crunchy and bright for contrast on the plate and in your mouth.
Another time, I'll try this dish with a layer of shredded leftover/rotisserie chicken or shredded leftover grilled pork.