Tex-Mex Inspired Potpies: Part 1
When I was little, there was a time when my dad traveled a lot for work. One of the “special” things Mom would do for us while he was away was to buy pot pies from the grocery store. She’d let us choose the kind we wanted (turkey, chicken or beef) and then we’d go home and bake them in the oven. (This was before the ubiquity of microwaves.) Now that I’m older, I realize that Mom was doing this just as much for herself as for us. Way to go, Mom!
I also have a more sophisticated palate now and love homemade pot pies much more ones from the store. However, making the crust takes some time, and so does the filling, so I don’t make them much–especially now that I have to watch my cholesterol!
January is a terrific month to make pot pies and the recipes this week allow you to stop in the middle if you’re interrupted by your children or the phone. Plus, I’ve found some new recipes for pot pies that don’t require a short crust. They don’t require any crust at all–but they still have a delicious topping. These are quite similar; but one has meat in it and the other features butternut squash and canned hominy. (You can find hominy at the Latin section of many grocery stores.)
Bean and Hominy Potpie
2 t. olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (optional)
1 T. paprika
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced (about 3 C.)
1 14-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 C. vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1 15-oz. can pinto beans, rinsed
1 15-oz. can yellow or white hominy, rinsed
1/4 t. salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 T. olive oil
1/4 t. salt
8 corn tortillas, or 6 whole-wheat tortillas
1/2 C. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Heat oven to 400. Heat 2 t. oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and jalapenos and cook, stirring, 1 minute more. Add paprika, cumin, oregano, cinnamon and cloves; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add squash, tomatoes and broth; bring to a simmer. Simmer, covered, until the squash is just tender, 10-12 minutes. Add beans and hominy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the mixture to a 2-3 qt. baking dish.
Combine 1 T. oil and 1/4 t. salt in a small bowl. Brush on both sides of tortillas. Cut the tortillas into 3/4” strips and cut the strips in half. Scatter the tortilla strips over the filling.
Bake the potpie in the center of the oven until the filling is bubbling, 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top and return to the oven until melted, 1-3 minutes.