Monday, February 6, 2012

New Menu Night: Tamale Pie

Do you ever read through a recipe and think, well I like this ingredient, but not that, and definitely not this, and gosh, I don't even have that one!  Well, that is where I found myself.  I wanted to try something new.  Tamale pie sounded curiously yummy.  The problem was I couldn't find a recipe that I really liked.  I wanted to make it dairy free, I didn't want to use beans,  I wanted peppers in the dish, and I wanted to use up the cilantro before it went bad.  No such luck.  So I decided to wing it.  This is really a conglomeration of several things I liked about various recipes and ingredients I just felt like adding or that sounded good. 

It is always a bit scary to produce a new menu item, especially one you messed with, but the results were awesome!  My family loved this.  I am sure this will be one of those menu items that is asked for on a regular basis. 

Tamale Pie

2 lbs ground beef
1 onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 package of frozen mixed peppers thawed and chopped (or you could chop fresh peppers)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can diced green chilies
1 large can of tomato sauce
1 can of corn drained
1/2 of one bunch of cilantro chopped
1-2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup cold water
1 cup corn meal  (I used Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Cornmeal)
1 cup water (this is a second cup)
1 tbs butter (I used Earth Balance)
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Brown hamburger with onion and minced garlic.  Drain.  Add peppers, diced tomatoes, corn, chilies, tomato sauce, spices, and cilantro.  Simmer briefly and pour into 9x11 inch pan. 

Make the cornmeal topping.  In a small bowl, whisk cold water and cornmeal until smooth.  Set aside.  Place remaining cup of water, butter, and 1/2 tsp of salt in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Add the cornmeal mixture to boiling water.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened.  It should not be runny.  This may take two minutes or so. 

Spread cornmeal mix evenly over the pie filling.  Make sure to cover the entire top.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees 50-60 minutes until crust is done.

You can top the tamale pie with sour cream and shredded cheese if you like.


  1. Dairy, egg, gluten, wheat free and still yummy? Yup! You hit the nail on the head! I subbed beefalo and mixed in a version of low salt, (for DH) but kept it basically the same otherwise, and it was a hit with all three kiddos and Dad! Thank you for sharing!


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