Thursday, January 6, 2011

Tamale Pie

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to try one new recipe a week. Which means, my loyal readers, you get a new recipe once a week. I'll also throw some of my tried-and-true recipes in there for good measure. This week, you're lucky. You get two recipes! Isn't that exciting!?

Dylan and I love Mexican food. Sometime down the road I want to try making some authentic Mexican dishes, but for now, I settled on this tamale pie. Whenever I go to a Mexican restaurant, I have to have a tamale, so this particular dish sounded amazing to me. You ready? Let's start cooking!


  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup medium-hot salsa
  • 1 can (15 1/4 to 16 ounces) whole-kernel corn, drained
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces Cheddar cheese, shredded (1/2 cup)
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add onion and cook until tender and golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in ground beef and cook, breaking up meat with side of spoon, until meat is browned, about 5 minutes. Skim and discard any fat. Stir in chili powder and cumin and cook 2 minutes longer. Remove from heat and stir in salsa and corn.
  • In 2-quart saucepan, heat water to boiling. With wire whisk, gradually whisk in cornmeal and salt. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, 5 minutes
  • Pour half of cornmeal mixture into shallow 2-quart casserole. Spoon beef mixture over cornmeal; spoon remaining cornmeal over beef and sprinkle Cheddar on top. Bake 45 minutes. Remove casserole from oven and let stand 15 to 25 minutes before serving. Makes 6 main-dish servings.
My Take
Now, as I've mentioned before, Dylan and I are very picky eaters. I think he's more picky than I am, but whatever. So, when I saw this contained onions, I, for a second, grimaced. Onions are one of my most disliked foods, but I love the flavor they can add to foods. So I got the bright idea that I could chop it up really fine and we would never notice. So I sliced half of a small onion and put it in my Magic Bullet. didn't turn out like I had planned. I think I used the wrong blade, so instead of being finely chopped, it came out as onion paste.

Okay, there was no way I was going to mix that with my meat, so instead I heated up the oil and cooked the onion paste a bit, just trying to get some of the flavor into the skillet. I think it kinda worked, but there were onions in the salsa, so I wasn't freaking out about it too much.

Another problem I ran into was I don't think it was done when I pulled it out. It might have had something to do with the fact that I didn't have a "shallow" casserole dish. The cornmeal wasn't completely set up. It wasn't firm, but it wasn't really watery either. It was just slightly gooey. I thought it was kind of hard to tell if it was done or not. It tastes fine, though, so I guess it turned out okay. It tasted really yummy. 

I think next time I make this, I'm going to use a pound of turkey instead of the ground chuck. :)

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