Sunday, January 16, 2011

Day 6: Tamale Pie topped with Spoon Bread

When I was a kid beef was expensive, and chicken was not.  Seems like we had chicken three or four days a week, and so it was a real treat when my mom cooked anything with beef.  Tamale Pie was one of my favorites.  My mom would decorate the top of the cornbread with sliced olives -- so pretty it was almost a shame to spoon it out!  I was excited when I saw a recipe for Tamale Pie in Healthy Cooking for Two.  While it's not my mom's recipe I enjoyed it very much.  It will definitely have a place on my comfort food list.

I've typed the recipe as written in the book, so the instructions are to bake it as a casserole.  I baked mine in four single serving ramekins since I have a tendency to eat too much (eating when I'm no longer hungry just because the food tastes so good).  I've been working on my portion control by cooking casseroles in single serving ramekins.  It's been working great!

Okay, and now for the changes!  12 ounces of ground beef?  No way!  I went all out and cooked a whole pound! (and also added a little salt and pepper when cooking the hamburger.)  I used a 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes instead of chopping whole canned tomatoes and measuring out a cup.  I minced the garlic instead of just smashing it, and I added the optional (sharp) cheddar cheese, and served the tamale Pie with a green salad.  Delicious!

I have some leftovers to use up, so tomorrow it's bacon, pepper, and onion frittata with broccoli with roasted peppers, capers, and olives -- yum!

Tamale Pie topped with Spoon Bread
Healthy Cooking for Two (or just you)
Yield:  Serves 4

12 ounces ground beef
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup green peppers, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup chopped canned tomatoes (with juice)
2 tsp chili powder
5 tbsp cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350

     In a heavy 10" nonstick skillet over medium heat, brown the beef, breaking it apart with a spoon, until no trace of pink remains.  Transfer the meat to a paper towel-lined strainer over a bowl to drain off the fat.
     To the skillet add the onions and peppers.  Cook for 3 minutes, or until the vegetables begin to brown.  Add the beef, garlic, tomatoes (with juice), corn, chili powder and 1 tbsp of the cornmeal.  Bring the mixture to a simmer.
     Transfer the mixture to a 1 1/2 quart oven proof casserole.  Set aside.
     Place the salt and remaining cornmeal in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened.
     In a small bowl, beat the egg.  Gradually beat in the hot cornmeal, then the cheddar.  Pour over the beef mixture and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the topping is slightly puffed and brown.

1 comment:

  1. If there are any leftovers from any of these 50 recipes, I'm sure that your neighbors wouldn't mind trying them...just saying.