This recipe originally came to me via an article I wrote for the Star in December 2005, but it didn’t make the jump to the new Web site when it launched a year and a half later. (Sharon and I were frantically getting as many animals into the ark as possible, but recipes were low on the list, and got left behind.)
The recipe is now a favorite in our family. Jenn is more generous with the chili powder, garlic and cheese than Cora was, but here’s the original to use as a basis for your own cooking:
Cora Flores’ Tamale Pie
1 cup of cornmeal
4 cups of water
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 teaspoons of salt
2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef, pork or chicken
1 can of kidney beans, drained
1 can of whole corn, drained
2 8 ounce cans of tomato sauce
2 teaspoons of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
Shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (for topping)
Blend cornmeal and one cup of water in a bowl until smooth.
Bring the three remaining cups of water, butter and one teaspoon of salt to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan, stirring constantly and gradually adding cornmeal mixture.
Cook, stirring often, until thick. Cover and set the mixture aside.
In a large frying pan, heat the oil and add onion and garlic. Sauté them over low heat for five minutes. Brown the ground meat, breaking meat up with a fork as it cooks.
Stir in beans, corn, tomato sauce, chili powder, remaining salt and pepper. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
Line the bottom and sides of a 12″ by 8″ by 2″ with half of the cooked cornmeal. Pour the hot meat mixture on top of the cornmeal. Top with the remaining cornmeal. Sprinkle with Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until the filling is bubbly hot.
The original article, detailing the recipe’s origins, after the jump.