I couldn’t believe how sweet Amanda over at Small Home Big Start, our favorite Canadian friend, was on her blog today about visiting us this spring. I’m so glad the Hooked on Houses story led us to each other because she’s one of those friends whom I miss if we don’t get in touch at least once a week. While I was scrolling around on her blog today, I found a photo of a tamale pie that stopped me in my tracks. I went straight to the Winn-Dixie after work and got my supplies, and came home to make my own spin on her delicious recipe. With Mallorie out of town for work, Jim’s a single dad for a couple days so he and Lucy came for supper, of course.
I changed a few things, so if you don’t mind a few extra calories, here’s how I did it:
Ingredients (this makes 2 pies—1 for now, 1 for later!)
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/4 cup white cornmeal
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. of salt
3 tbls. melted butter
1 cup milk (maybe?? you want it the texture of thick grits—however much you need for that)
a little Crisco for greasing
2 lbs. ground chuck
1 yellow onion, diced
2 (14.5 oz.) cans of diced tomatoes
2 (14.5 oz.) cans of white corn (drained)
2 (4.5 oz) cans of chopped green chilies
3+ tbls. taco seasoning
2+ tbls. chili powder
1+ tbls. cumin
2+ tsp. salt
(+ : however much you like. I used more than this, I’m sure. But I don’t know how much)
shredded monterey jack cheese
1. Pour that canola oil in a cast iron skillet, stick in the oven. Preheat to 400.
2. While your oil is heating up, mix up the cornbread batter. Get out a pie plate (or another cast iron skillet if you have 2 the same size) and grease it with just a little Crisco. When you’re at 400, take out the skillet and immediately pour that hot grease into your batter and quickly stir it in well. Divide your batter between the skillets (or pie plate). Spread it on the bottoms evenly with a spoon.
3. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside, lower temp to 350.
4. While your crusts are baking, get out a big pot and brown your beef with the onion, then drain. Add everything else, let simmer until it’s all good and flavorful, about 30 minutes. Like I said before—I fooled with the seasonings the whole time it was simmering until it tasted just right. I like a pretty strong flavor, though.
5. Divide filling between the skillets, top generously with shredded cheese. If you’re going to save one pie for later, set it aside to cool and you can put it in the fridge or freezer later. Whatever you’re eating tonight, bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.
Serve it with a side salad and big dollop of sour cream. Because I’m into health food, I used light sour cream.