Have you ever heard of millet?
Of course you have, because you are a healthy, eco-conscious and worldly go-getter if you are on this site.
Well I didn’t know what millet, a type of grain, was until I got this recipe for Millet Tamale Pie from the Sedona Spa Association. Luckily, the local Glut Co-op in Mount Rainier, Maryland came to my rescue! But they didn’t have enough millet, so I had to substitute millet for quinoa, which is a similar, small round grain that the Glut worker told me would take about the same amount of time to cook. The quinoa is actually a South American grain, so it actually fits quite well into the Latin flair of this recipe. You know us, we aren’t afraid of substitutions! To give this recipe a little spice and substance, we added about 3/4 lb. ground turkey meat into the mix and a1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper (we also love our cayenne pepper).
Chop your onions beforehand. The cheese can wait until you are simmering in the pan. We first toasted the quinoa about five minutes until you smell a faint Cheerios or peanut buttery smell. Remove and put it aside. I started to saute the garlic, onions and oil (olive, for us). When the onions turn translucent and get a slight brown color, add the rest of the ingredients (corn, quinoa/millet, tomato sauce) except for the cheese. We used the wok again to do this, since it is large and deep enough. It works perfectly!
We browned and drained some turkey meat and added it into the mix, for a total of 15 minutes.
Then there’s the big pour into the baking dish (we used a four inch deep dish). Cover with foil, and put it into the oven for 30 minutes or until the water is gone (we had to do this for 40, I think because of our deep casserole dish). Then remove the cover, top with cheese and bake uncovered for about 10 minutes until the cheese gets a nice toasty brown on top and is thoroughly melted.
Maybe it was the deep casserole dish, or our additions of quinoa and turkey meat, but our pie came out more like a hearty dip, rather than a firm pie. That was just fine with us, because we came to the conclusion that it would make a great party/chip dip! The quinoa had a very subtle taste, if any, and was really filling. This one’s a keeper!