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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tamale Pie





I recently found a lost treasure ~ some old recipes I cut out from various magazines and saved over the years, some date back to when I was a teenager, looking through these brought back great memories.  I will be recreating these recipes very soon.  One of my Facebook readers just asked for a tamale recipe and I happened to just find a great one in there.   It is from 2004, in Life magazine - I think it was an insert in Newsday at one time.   I haven't made this in a while but I remember it was a very good one. It was created by chef and author Rick Rodgers and found in his book "Celebrations 101"
http://astore.amazon.com/rosscoubak-20/detail/0767914643       Celebrations 101

This recipe uses chicken as the protein but I think it could work just as well with pork, steak or ground beef.  
Here's the recipe:
Filling

2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more to coat baking dish
1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 "cubes
1 med onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced into 1/2 "pieces
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 cup chicken broth
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1/2 cup drained and coarsely chopped pimento-stuffed green olives
Topping
1 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 cups cold water
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone ground
2/3 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


For filling:  heat oven to 350 degrees, with rack in center.  Lightly oil a 11 1/2 by 8 in baking dish.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat.  Add chicken and cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 mins.  Stir in onion, peppers and garlic, cover.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 8 mins.
Sprinkle with flour and chili powder and stir.  Stir in broth and sauce.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 mins.  Stir in olives, season with salt to taste.  Spread filling in baking dish.
For topping:  bring broth to a boil in a med size saucepan over high heat.  Whisk cornmeal and 1 1/2 cups cold water together in a med sized bowl, then whisk this mixture into the boiling broth.  Reduce heat to med and cook, whisking often, until cornmeal is very thick.  Spread cornmeal as evenly as possible over filling.  Place baking dish on a large baking sheet. Bake uncovered until filing is bubbling, about 25 mins.  Sprinkle with cheese, and bake until it melts, about 5 more mins.  Let stand about 10 mins at room temp, garnish with cilantro and serve.
Adapted from Rick Rodgers recipe for Tamale Pie


If you try this out, please let us know how any variations work





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