Corn Bread and Red Bean Pot Pie

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Who doesn’t love a piping hot chicken pot pie? I love making one with a corn bread topping rather than a pie crust. It really is comfort food. I also love corn bread and chili together so why not put the best of both dishes together in one pot? A local Skagit Valley farmer produces a Certified Organic Rojo Chiquito dry red bean that can be found at Mount Vernon Farmers Market or at the Hedlin farm stand just before the town of La Conner. Rojo Chiquito means “red little girl” in English. Any dry small red bean will suffice but if you are up that way stock up because you are going to love this little red bean!


Meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk products supply all the necessary amino acids to form a complete protein which is necessary for good health. To make a vegetarian dish with complete protein, several plant based foods must be eaten at the same meal, preferably early in the day. Legumes like beans, peas, lentils and peanuts (not actually a nut but a legume) must be combined with grains like wheat, rice, barley and corn to make a complete protein. People fifty years old and older should have twenty-five to thirty grams of complete protein per meal to retain muscle strength. The corn, beans, egg, and milk in this dish is a good example of a high protein food. This dish needs to be started the day before by soaking the beans overnight to create beans that are whole when cooked and not crumbling apart. The result is well worth the wait!

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Corn Bread and Red Bean Pot Pie

Red Bean Stew

6 servings


½ pound dry red beans (about 1 cup)

1 quart filtered water

1 sprig dried epazote (optional but adds flavor and aids in flatulence reduction)

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cups onion, small diced

1 ½ teaspoons garlic, minced

¾ cup carrot, small diced

¼ cup Anaheim pepper, small diced

½ cup red bell pepper, small diced

1 ½ teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika

1 ½ teaspoons Pimentón Picante or 1 ¼ teaspoons smoky paprika + ¼ teaspoon cayenne

¾ teaspoon Mexican oregano

1 tablespoons tomato paste

2 ½ tablespoons masa harina, preferably organic

5 tablespoons filtered water

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

¼ cup cilantro, chopped


1.     Sort the beans to remove any stones or dirt clods. Wash thoroughly under running water. Pour one quart of filtered water over the beans in a bowl or pot. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2.     Separate the beans from any liquid remaining. Add to the liquid more filtered water to measure exactly three cups. Place this liquid, beans, epazote and one teaspoon of salt into a sauce pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

3.     Heat the oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and peppers. Sauté until soft, about eight to ten minutes.

4.     Add the paprika, Pimentón, oregano and tomato paste to the pan and stir for another minute until fragrant. Deglaze with a ladle full of the bean liquid and stir to dissolve any browned bits, then stir this mixture into the simmering beans. Lower the heat, cover the pot.

5.     Simmer the beans until tender, about one to two hours (check regularly after the first hour).

6.     Mix the masa harina with the water, remaining salt and black pepper in a bowl. Add some of the bean broth until a loose paste is achieved. Stir into the bean mixture. Cook for a few more minutes until the bean mixture is thickened.

7.     Add the lime juice and cilantro. Taste, Think, Transform with more salt and/or lime juice. Reserve hot.

Corn Bread Topping

6 servings


1 tablespoon soft butter

 ¾ cup corn meal, preferably organic

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ tablespoon granulated cane sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup whole milk, preferably organic

1 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons safflower oil


1.     Preheat oven to 400⁰F. Butter an eight-by-eight-inch glass baking pan or a two quart oval baking pan.

2.     Mix the corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large mixing bowl.

3.     In a smaller bowl mix the milk, egg and oil together. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

4.     Pour the hot red bean stew in the bottom of the pan. Gently spoon batter on top, smoothing it evenly. Place in the preheated oven and bake for twenty-two to twenty-five minutes. Serve hot.

Linda HierholzerENTRÉES