Creamy Corn Crusted Tempeh Pot Pie

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Filling

* 8 ounces tempeh, sliced into 1/2 inch cubes

* 2 Tb peanut oil or olive oil

* 2 medium-size yellow onions ( 1/2 pound), chopped finely

* 1 large carrot, diced

* 2 Tb white or red wine or vegetable broth

* 1 tsp ground cumin

* 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

* 1 tsp ground sweet paprika

* 1/2 pound potato or yuca, peeled, cooked, and diced into 1/4 inch cubes

* 1 cup vegetable broth

* 2 Tb soy sauce

* 1/4 cup dark raisins

* 1/2 cup sliced green olives

* Freshly ground pepper

Corn Toppings 

* 3 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels ( thawed and drained, if frozen )

* 3 Tb cornstarch

* 2/3 cup soy creamer or heavy cream substitute, or a combination of the two

* 1 clove garlic, chopped

* 1/2 tsp salt

* Freshly ground pepper

* 3 Tb peanut oil

* 8 to 10 large fresh basil leaves, chopped finely

* 1 Tb sugar, or about 1 tsp of sugar per individual pie

Directions

1. Cook the tempeh for 10 minutes, either by steaming in a steam basket or microwaving for 8 minutes in a covered glass bowl with 1 cup of water. Drain the cooked tempeh if necessary and crumble when cool enough to handle. Lightly oil a glass or ceramic 11 by 7 inch baking dish that measures at least 3 inches deep, or use four 2 cup oven-proof individual ceramic casserole dishes.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil, add the onions and carrot, and saute for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the onions are very soft and translucent. Add the wine, stir, and bring to a simmer. Add the cumin, oregano, and paprika, and stir. Add the crumbled tempeh, potato, vegetable broth, soy sauce, raisins, olives, and a few twists of freshly ground pepper. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust the seasonings with more ground pepper if desired. Remove from the heat and ladle into the prepared casserole dish(es).

3. Preheat the oven to 400 F and make the corn topping. In a blender jar, pulse the corn kernels, cornstarch, soy creamer, garlic, salt and pepper until thick and creamy. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat, then pour in the corn mixture, stirring occasionally with a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of thick cooked oatmeal. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil, and spread evenly over the filling. Sprinkle the top of the pie(s) evenly with the sugar.

4. Place a baking sheet with a rim under the pie in case the filling bubbles over the edges of dish. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the corn topping is golden and the filling is bubbling. If desired, broil on high for an additional 3 to 4 minutes, to create dark brown spots on the corn topping, to give your pastel de choclo a much-desired, traditional well-browned look. Let the pie(s) cool for at least 15 minutes before serving; the filling and toppings will be very hot!

Variation

For a soy-free variation, replace the tempeh with 4 cups of cooked chickpeas, chopped coarsely.