Thursday, September 2, 2010

tamal pie

Susanna gave me the Santa Cruz Chili & Spice Co. Cookbook as gift awhile back, so I can cook like a Tucson resident any time I want. It's full of fun Mexicanish delights, and I decided to make tamal pie* on Tuesday.

I am secretly infatuated with "pie" recipes. I hate the word casserole, but there's something about a pie that makes my mouth water. Chili pie, taco pie, chicken pot pie...yum. And tamal pie? It sounded too good to pass up: "Tamal is the singular word for tamales, for all the linguistic purists out there. But over the years everyone has just about uinversally adopted the word tamale. This old-fashioned recipe proudly keeps the old-fashioned name. Tamal pie is the easy way to enjoy the warm, satisfying flavors of corn, beef, and chili with less effort than making your own tamales."

I browned my ground beef with an onion and some garlic. I was supposed to use a 3-quart oven safe bowl to mix the rest and then bake-- I tried using the pyrex I use for chicken pot pies, but it's obviously not 3 quarts. I combined my corn meal, Rotel, corn, milk, eggs, and 1/4 cup chili powder (I didn't buy Santa Cruz Chili Powder), and there was no room for the beef mixture. I transferred it to another pyrex and baked for an hour.
This smelled so,so good to me, and it tasted even better. It's comfort food to the max, and EDW and I gobbled up a lot of it. It reheats well, too, and we've been enjoying it for lunch. This will definitely go into my rotation, and I may try black beans instead of beef next time to change things up.
It looks like a hot mess, but I promise, it really is warm and satisfying.
I hope you like it. I made it.

*Neubauer, Jean England. Santa Cruz Chili & Spice Co. Cookbook. "Tamal Pie." p. 118.

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