Tag - cornbread

A New Take on Pizzagaina

Jason’s Nana is incredibly talented in the kitchen. I haven’t had a single meal there that I didn’t enjoy, even as a vegetarian in a household of meat-lovers! We’ve spent many holidays at their house, and when the pizzagaina is brought out it gets devoured in no time. All while his grandparents reminisce about who’s father or mother made it better.

When I was thinking about us spending our first holiday away from family, I wanted to see if I could create something that felt like home. The result is spectacular. I adore this recipe and hope to share it with Jason’s grandparents one day.

Pizzagaina with Cornbread Crust

1 cup gluten free cornbread mix
1/2 cup cornmeal
3 Tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 egg

14 large eggs
1/2 lb pepperoni
1/2 lb salami
1/2 lb Italian sausage
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese
1/2 pound provolone cheese
1 12-ounce container of ricotta cheese
1/8 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Wrap the bottom in tinfoil (to make sure eggs don’t sneak out any gaps).

2. To make the crust, combine dry ingredients into a food processor. Add chunks of butter and pulse until it starts to come together. It should start to look wet, at that point, add the egg. Pulse until a ball has formed.




3. Remove from food processor, form a disk, and wrap in plastic. Place in refrigerator to cool for at least 20 minutes.


4. Evenly spread the dough over the bottom of the springform pan. Firmly press down.


5. Cut meat and cheeses into bite size pieces.



6. Layer half of the sausage, pepperoni, salami, mozzarella, provolone on top of each other and top with ricotta. (I only put meat on half for Jason and the other half simply cheese for me).


6. Pour half of the beaten eggs on top. Repeat the layering process with the remaining meat and cheese. Pour in the remaining egg. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parmesan.


7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes or until top is golden brown and the eggs are firm (if you shake the pan, there’s no jiggling in the center).





Baked Tamale Pie with Homemade Enchilada Sauce and Scallion Pancake Topping

Jason and I were craving chili this weekend. I made a meat one for him (recipe is here) and a gluten free meat-substitute one for me. The inspiration recipe called this a Baked Tamale Pie. I decided to add a homemade enchilada sauce to the recipe and used my scallion cornbread pancake recipe as a topping. It turned out to be a perfect combination and one that I highly recommend.

It’s best to make the enchilada sauce before you start anything else so there’s time to clean up and then move on to the main recipe. I made the sauce first and then took a break to do some pottery. I took a two-part class at a local place called “Play with Clay”. The first session was a tutorial in how to use the pottery wheel, which is something I haven’t done since high school so it was a great re-fresher. The second session, which I did today, is how to glaze the pots you made. It was a ton of fun and I hope to do it again. I can’t wait to see how they look after they’re fired!



Now, back to the food at hand… Baked Tamale Pie with Homemade Enchilada Sauce and Scallion Pancake Topping.

Homemade Enchilada Sauce
(Recipe credit to vitamin-sunshine)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon corn starch + ¼ cup warm water
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice



1. In a large saucepan, add olive oil, and diced onion. Cook for 7 minutes over medium high heat until onion is softened.
2. Add vegetable broth, tomato paste, chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, cumin, oregano, salt, and coriander. Simmer for 5 minutes until it comes to a boil.
3. Remove from heat, let cool slightly and then add to a blender. Process until smooth then return back to the saucepan.
4. Whisk corn starch and warm water in a small cup then slowly pour into the sauce while stirring.
5. Add the lime juice, and turn off heat. (Set aside for further use.)


Baked Tamale Pie
(Recipe Inspiration from serious eats)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup frozen corn
1 medium onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained and coarsely crushed with your hand
1 (16-ounce) package of “meat” crumbles
1 1/2 cup of homemade enchilada sauce (follow instructions below)
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves and fine stems, minced


1. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large saucepan heat oil and then add corn and cook until corn is warm. Add onion, bell peppers, and poblano pepper, season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes.

2. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano, and chili powder and cook until fragrant.
3. Add soy sauce, tomatoes, black beans, kidney beans, meat substitute, and enchilada sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook until it has thickened.


4. Stir in grated cheese, scallions, and cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour into a casserole dish or cast iron skillet.

5. Complete first step of the Scallion Cornbread Pancakes recipe (below). Drop dollops of the batter on top of the tamale filling.


6. Bake tamale pie for about 20 minutes, until cornbread has turned golden brown.


Scallion Cornbread Pancakes
1 cup ½ cup gluten free cornbread mix
2 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup canola oil
2 eggs
2 green onions, thinly chopped
½ cup fat-free milk
Canola oil

1. Stir together cornbread mix, sugar, salt, baking powder in a bowl. Add oil, eggs, onions, and milk and whisk until combined.
2. Heat canola oil in a skillet and drop dollops of the batter into the oil to fry. Do not overcrowd.


3. When you can see the edges of each pancake begin to brown, flip over and brown the other side.


4. After both sides are golden brown, remove from oil and place on a plate lined with paper towel to remove excess grease. Continue making pancakes until all batter has been used.