Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tamale Pie

I don't know about you, but when I'm not hungry, it's hard for me to cook! During the last two weeks, I've not really "cooked" anything! We've just eaten what we wanted, when we got hungry! I love those days! They spoil me! But now that we're back in the school routine, it's back to cooking for me.

Every time I ask Larry what he wants, he says, " I don't care. Every thing you cook is good". Or sometimes, he may throw in..."well, I don't know what's on the menu"! Ok, well then tell me what you want on the "menu" and that's what we'll have. When he does ask me for something, it's usually chicken & dumplins, chicken noodle soup, Shepard's Pie or even B's pizza. (That's the way my mom made them!) But this time, he threw me for a loop and asked for Tamale Pie, Chipolte Lime Chicken and Spicy Lettuce Cups! Well, alrighty then!

On the mission I went to find the perfect recipes for ... all of the above! So far, I'm 2 for 2! Here's the Tamale Recipe I found. I won't lie and tell you where I found it - because I looked so much, I couldn't even tell you where I found it! But it's good & I hope you enjoy!

3 Tbsp Canola oil, divided
1 small onion, chopped
1 lg clove garlic, finely chopped
1 lb beef (or turkey) (I used ground deer burger)
1/2 tsp chipolte puree or smoked paprika (or more to taste)
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp sugar, divided
2 tsp white vinegar
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can beans (pinto, kidney or black) (I used pinto)
2 c frozen corn (I used 1 can whole kernal, drained)
1/3 c flour
2/3 c cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 c buttermilk
1 egg
1 c grated cheddar cheese

1) Heat oven to 400. In a 10 or 12 in heavy oven proof pan, heat 1 Tbsp of oil & saute onions until translucent and browning around edges.

2) Add garlic & saute another minute, then crumble meant. Turn up heat to cook - stirring & breaking until browned.

3) Stir in chipolte puree, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp of sugar, vinegar, tomato sauce, beans & corn. Simmer for a few minutes so the ingredients can get to know each other! (HA...read that the other day & couldn't wait to use it!)

4) Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, remaining 1/2 tsp salt & remaining Tbsp sugar. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk & remaining oil. Finally, mix the liquid mixture with the dry ingredients. Stir in half of the cheddar cheese. **Or cheat like I did...I had a package of War Eagle Cornbread mix so I just followed the package instructions - added sugar & cheese! Ta-Da...

5) Pour meat mixture into 9x13 baking dish
Cover evenly with cornbread mixture. Top with remaining half of cheddar cheese. Place in pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown & knife inserted in center comes out clean!

It was really, really good! Personally, I think it needed a little jalepeno to spice it up a little but overall, it was different & good.

There are TONS of Tamale Pie recipes out there. In this one cookbook I always reach for when looking up new recipes, she actually used Tamales & Wolf brand chili instead of using making cornbread. My dad's wife says she actually makes chili & layers her ingredients starting with cornbread mixture on the bottom, chili, corn, cheese - repeat.

If you have a favorite Tamale Pie recipe ...how do you fix yours?

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