dinner · kid friendly · mexican · recipes

simple tamale pie

1 C milk  •   1 C cornmeal  •   2 C water, boiling  •   salt and pepper
2 T butter  •   2 tsp honey  •   1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 lb ground beef   •   1 T red chili powder  •   1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced   •   1 – 15oz can tomatoes, diced  •   1 T paprika
green  chile, to taste  •   salt and pepper  •   1 1/2 C cheddar cheese, shredded
top with cilantro and sliced scallions


As a native New Mexican I happen to love Mexican food, it’s apart of who I am really. Okay, maybe not exactly … but I do enjoy it. In our home we consume a lot of Mexican food, unfortunately my idea of Mexican is on another spice level than my husband or kiddo,s so I have to compromise. Dishes like this tamale pie are great compromise because you can still get all the rich flavors and not have to smother it in chile. I also like this recipe because it is quick, easy and I don’t see my kids picking ‘things’ out of it that they don’t want to eat.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Directions: In a medium size sauce pan heat the milk on low. While stirring or whisking add the cornmeal and then the boiling water, raise heat to medium-low and cook for 15-20 minutes, stir occasionally until thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste and then add in the honey and butter. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a large skillet (preferably a cast iron skillet) saute in the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Brown the meat and drain. Season beef with the chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and green chili and allow to simmer for a few minutes, combining ingredients well. Pour the thick cornmeal over the meat and smooth. Top with cheese and bake in oven for about 10 minutes or until cornmeal is done and cheese has browned. You may want to turn the broiler on for a few minutes so that the cheese is golden and bubbly. Garnish with scallions and cilantro and enjoy.
Recipe adapted from Rachel Rays, Everyday Magazine, March Edition, 2012, Pork Lovers Tamale Pie, pg. 80, changes made by myself

Serves 4-6

notes: In the original recipe I came across it called for pork, you can use whatever meat you have on hand, just make sure you season it well. If the cornmeal doesn’t seem to be getting done you can cover the top with foil and bake longer to ensure you don’t burn the cheese on top.

… can you believe it’s MARCH! Have a great rest of your week.

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