Thursday, November 13, 2008

Recipes from the Twit Army Mess Hall - Tamale Pie

The Finished Dish



3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups cold water
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (I use Penzey's medium, salt free)
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, not oil. you could use bacon dripping or lard if you're into cholesterol & a really authenic taste (real tamales use lard in the cornmeal wrapping) but you need a fat which is relatively solid at room temperatures
1/2 cup grated Cheddar or Mexican blend cheese, for topping (Optional)
Sliced black olives (Optional)


1 pound lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1 small can (14 ounces) tomatoes with chile peppers
1 can (15 ounces) whole kernel corn with peppers, drained
1/2 can ripe olives, sliced (save the rest for the crust)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbl chili powder (Again, I use Penzey's Medium, salt free)
1 cup grated Cheddar or Mexican blend cheese (Optional, if you use cheese on the crust, I'd omit it here)


Brown ground beef with onions; drain well. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes & chiles, corn, olives, garlic, & chili powder. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until thickened (This needs to be relatively dry & not soupy). Add cheese if using it; stir until cheese is melted. Set filling aside.

In a saucepan, combine cornmeal, salt, water and chili powder. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick. Stir in butter. Spread half of the mixture into a baking dish, I use a deep dish pie plate. Spoon filling over bottom crust; spoon remaining cornmeal mixture over filling. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes. If desired, sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese & the rest of the sliced olives over the crust about 5 minutes before casserole is done. (Necessary if you want the top crust to brown up properly, if you put on the cheese when the baking starts it will prevent the top crust from setting up properly)

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