Tamale pie a tasty Tex-Mex dish

  • By Gretchen McKay Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • Thursday, March 6, 2014 6:00pm
  • Life

With chilly weather, I hanker for food that sticks to the ribs. How better to sate those cravings than with the official casserole of Texas, tamale pie?

Typically made with ground beef, this recipe cuts the fat and calories by substituting lean turkey.

I didn’t find the dish spicy enough, so next time I will probably increase the cumin and cayenne and also add a little chili powder.

Tamale pie

5 ½ cups water

Salt and pepper

1 ¼ cups yellow cornmeal

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for dish

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, coarsely chopped

3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1 green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into ¼-inch dice

1 serrano chile, finely chopped

1 ½ pounds ground turkey

1 1/4-ounce can tomatoes, coarsely chopped, juices reserved

½ cup chicken stock

1 teaspoon ground cumin

¾ teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon cayenne

8 pimento-stuffed green olives, rinsed and chopped

4 ounces Monterey jack, grated (1¼ cups)

Crisp lettuce leaves, for serving

Assorted toppings: chopped avocado, tomatoes, red onion and cilantro

Bring water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons salt. Whisking constantly, add cornmeal in slow, steady stream, switching to a wooden spoon when cornmeal becomes too thick to whisk. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until thick and creamy, about 15 minutes. Stir in butter, cover and keep warm over low heat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 2-quart baking dish and set aside. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium dish and add vegetables and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until onion is golden and veggies are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

Add turkey and cook, breaking up large pieces, until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes and juices, stock and spices. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated and mixture resembles chili, about 10 minutes. Stir in olives and season with salt and pepper.

With a wet spatula, spread 1½ cups cornmeal into bottom of prepared dish. Top with turkey mixture, then spread remaining cornmeal on top. Sprinkle evenly with cheese.

Bake until golden brown and cheese has melted, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before serving with lettuce and garnishes.

Serves 6 to 8.

“Martha’s American Food” by Martha Stewart

More in Life

Beer and cupcakes: Snohomish brewer, baker form unlikely duo

Pacific Northwest Cupcakes uses SnoTown’s brews to make beer-infused sweet treats.

The art and science of weathervanes

They told the direction of the wind and aided in forecasting the, well, weather.

Hundreds of ways to pamper your home and yourself

Find fancy fridges to sparkling jewelry under one roof at home and gift shows in Everett.

This is exactly how a cleaning expert organizes her space in 20 minutes

Try these realistic and attainable tricks to land yourself a cleaner home.

Snohomish brewer flavors beer with chilies from mom’s back yard

Beer of the Week: Smoked rye forms sturdy foundation for SnoTown’s well-balanced Loose Rooster.

Fall is just another blooming season

October can be a time of spectacular colors in your garden.

Woodward Canyon Winery continues to weave masterpieces

Owner Rick Small uses grapes from vines he used when he made wine in his back yard in the 1970s.

Music in the mountains: ‘It’s a weather-dependant hobby’

Anastasia Allison of the Musical Mountaineers reflects on making music at the summits.

Great Plant Pick: Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo,’ purple-leaf ninebark

Grow it with shrub roses and perennials, and it combines with with ornamental grasses.

Most Read