Permaculture in Action

Monday, January 14, 2013

Eating in Season

One of our favourite recipes for summer is Mexican Chilli Corn Pie fromVegetarian Main Meals by Kathryn Hawkins. Most of the ingredients are sourced from our garden at this time of year. Sweet corn, tomatoes,onions, capsicum (bell pepper) celery, garlic, chilli and tomatoes are bountiful at the moment.

The recipe asks for cans of tomatoes, sweet corn and red kidney beans, but why use cans when you have it fresh. The dried kidney beans are cooked in the solar oven ( energy from the sun is also plentiful right now, some could say a little too plentiful with another day in the 40's) and then added to the other ingredients once they have all been fried together and boiled for 10mins.

What makes this pie so delicious is the polenta topping. Mix together 2/3 cup polenta (cornmeal), 1tablespoon  flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 2teaspoons baking powder. Make a well in the centre, add 1 beaten egg, 6 tablespoons milk, and 1 tablespoon oil and beat until smooth. Spoon over the tomato mixture and sprinkle with 1 cup of grated cheese. Bake in oven at 220 cfor 25 30 mins. It will take a little longer in the solar oven as it doesn't get quite that hot.

served up ready to eat
Straight from the solar oven.
I thought it might need to be grilled for a few minutes but it came out of the solar oven quite crispy on top.Have you cooked with polenta? I do like it fried but haven't yet succeeded in getting it to set well enough for that.
P.S.  Mark down loaded these photos for me. Two via picasa and the last from photobucket. Sorry the last two are in the wrong order but just didn't have the heart to try and change them. Thank you to those who commented about downloading photos. I just wanted to be able to download like I used to, I'm a bit lazy and technically challenged to bother with all the fiddling, but I'll try.


  1. YUM looks soooo good Kate, I have never heard of a polenta topping on anything (feel like I've been living in a box now!)

    I agree with the photo situation I got a bit frustrated at it and I must of opened and closed that upload box so many times just hoping it would come back "normal"! lol.

  2. I must remember to try this one. It sounds great! You just reminded me that I was going to try and make a solar oven with the kids these holidays. I had forgotten about it. Must get onto that. They'll be back at school in less than two weeks!

  3. this looks so delicious, we love polenta, great idea for a topping!

  4. Yum! I must say I'm pretty partial to polenta and it's always a hit with our family. Sounds refreshingly different to team it with fresh Mexican flavours.

  5. I make a very similar dish in the solar oven too. Perfect for this time of year.

    I cook polenta a lot - but mainly as porridge for breakfast - with cardamon, cinnamon and ginger. Yum!