I try not to like Rachel Ray, but this tamale pie that I adapted from one of her recipes was fabulous. Rachel’s raspy chirp and kitsch phrases drive me a little crazy. She is constantly praising how great her food is smelling, tasting, and looking. Now that may be something that I might, possibly, be known to do myself. Maybe, I am, most likely, irritated by her boundless energy.
Rachel has that thing that Oprah & Martha has with her own magazine, food products and kitchenware that drives me crazy. Julia would of never of done those things. As I judgmentally type my disdain, please note that I made this recipe in a Rachel Ray pan that I bought on QVC. (Great pan, btw.) Okay, I have to give Ms. Ray a break. She does produce recipes with ingredients that are easily gotten at the local grocery store. They are loaded with flavor and are easy on the pocket book. I also just love this pan that I got.
Now let’s get to the tamale pie. It only took me about 15-20 minutes and was not difficult in the least bit. The spicy rich meat with the creamy sweet polenta and gooey sharp cheese on top made us all happy. There is not a lot of heat in the recipe, which made it kid-friendly. I put a spicy salsa and sriracha on the table, so everyone could add more heat if they wanted it. It is super affordable to make. The leftovers were used at breakfast with an egg on top. If you do not have every ingredient in the list, do not think you can not make it. Use beans, skip the beer…whatever you have about. Recipes are about giving you an idea, an inspiration.
- 1 cup milk or rice/soy milk
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 2 cups boiling water
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon corn oil or EVOO
- 1/3 pound mexican chorizo (raw) or chopped spanish chorizo (cured)
- 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander (about 1/2 palmful)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 – 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 cup beer
- 1 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles, drained
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican melting cheese
- Cilantro leaves and sliced scallions, for garnishing
- In a medium saucepan, heat the milk. Whisk in the cornmeal, then whisk in the boiling water and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until very thick, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the butter and honey.
- Preheat the broiler. Meanwhile, in a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until smoking. Add the chorizo and bacon and render the fat for 3 minutes. Stir in the pork and cook, crumbling the meat, until browned, about 8 minutes. Season with the thyme, chili powder, coriander, salt and pepper. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes to soften. Stir in the beer to deglaze for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes to heat through.
- Spoon the thick cornmeal over the pan and spread evenly. Top with the cheddar and brown under the broiler for 2 minutes. Serve from the skillet, garnished with the cilantro and scallions.
ENJOY! Pull up a chair, Elizabeth