Monday, September 5, 2011

Tamale Pie

Let's be clear.  This doesn't taste like a tamale.  It's fancy taco filling with a cornmeal crust.  This Tex-Mex tradition is basic comfort food.  And a whole lot less work than an actual batch of tamales!

I started with the recipe off the box of Albers Corn Meal.  Kind of went off from there.  For one thing, I wish I had put most of the cornmeal on top, instead of making the bottom crust so thick.  It also would have been nice to put more flavoring in the crust.  A small, drained can of diced chilis would do it, for those who can tolerate chilis.  I used extra olives instead, which helped some.

*1-1/4 C corn meal
1/2 tsp salt
1-3/4 C milk
3/4 C water

1 lb ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1 C diced onion
1/4 C diced green bell pepper
1 C corn niblets  (I used frozen)
1  3.8 oz can sliced black olives, drained
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, partially drained
1 Tb chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 C shredded cheddar cheese.

1.  Preheat oven to 425º.  Grease an 8" square baking dish.

2.  In a saucepan, stir together corn meal, salt, milk, and water.  Over medium heat, cook until thick.  Stir constantly.  A Teflon pan helps later with cleanup, if you have one.  Set aside 1-1/2 C.  Pour rest into casserole and coat bottom and sides.  A spoon will save your fingers.  Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside.

3.  Brown ground beef, garlic, onion, and pepper in a large skillet.  Drain off grease.  Add corn, half of the olives, tomatoes, chili powder, salt, and pepper.  Mix well and cook until heated through.  Spoon into cornmeal crust.

4.  With a spoon, drop reserved corn meal on top of meat.  Spread around to cover evenly.  Sprinkle with remaining olives and the cheese.  Return casserole to oven and cook for 15 minutes, until crust is done and cheese is melted.

Serves 4-6

Difficulty rating  :)

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