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.

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.

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

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

Beer, wine, spirits: Snohomish County booze calendar

Dash to Diamond Knot: Flying Unicorn Racing is teaming up with Mukilteo’s… Continue reading

Marysville theater stages Noel Coward’s timeless ‘Blithe Spirit’

The cast and crew at the Red Curtain Arts Center do a fine job with the 1940s British play.

Stringed instruments get workout at Cascade Symphony concert

Tchaikovsky’s “Serenade for Strings” is the orchestra’s first concert of the season.

Animating Van Gogh paintings proves to be trippy yet flawed

“Loving Vincent” relates the circumstances of the great painter’s death.

Confusing, muddled thriller confounds talented director, cast

“The Snowman,” based on a Scandinavian crime novel, suffers from catastrophic storytelling problems.

‘Breathe’ ignores all the inspirational movie cliches

It tells the story of a polio patient and his wife who helped change attitudes about the disabled.

Most Read