Sunday, September 26, 2010

cooking from home: Tamale Pie

This is the first thing I cooked for my wonderful girlfriend. It’s warm, inviting, homey and pretty hard to screw up. The original recipe comes from my mother. There is something addictive about this modified tamale recipe. It’s quick, easy, and I always have a hard time to stop myself from eating more. I was a little nervous for my first time cooking for my girlfriend, it’s one of the pitfalls of having a reputation as a good cook, everyone expects to have really good food. This is a quick standby for me and while it’s not fancy or highfalutin, and it’s definitely not Haute Cuisine. It makes me smile and I love to serve it.

This was one of my favorite dishes growing up. It’s basically the same ingredients as in real tamales but arranged differently and baked as a casserole. This starts off with ground beef which I like to buy in bulk and freeze in 1 pound sections in freezer bags. It is a bake which my mom made with all canned vegetables,
1# ground beef
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cans Creamed corn
1 small can black olives sliced
1 T Chili powder
1 Medium onion
2 t Cayenne(optional)
½ Pound Monterey jack (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ C corn flour/ masa harina

First you must Sauté the onions in oil. Add ground beef and brown. Add tomatoes, and creamed corn. Bring mixture to a simmer. Add the chili powder cayenne and masa harina. The consistency and appearance should be like slightly loose refried beans. Pour into a large cake pan and add the sliced olives on top. Add cheese and sprinkle very lightly with a little more chili powder. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown. Serves 4-5 reheats very well.

Could eat this whole thing… If I died doing it. I’d be happy.

And yes, I know it looks like a plate of barf... it's a very loose mixture, almost dip like. So sue me! It's my birthday tomorrow, I'll be 27 and I think it tastes great!


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