Cookbook

X-LNT Tamale Pie :photo

X-LNT Tamale Pie

The author states that her tamale casserole, which she calls a "Mexamerican shepherd's pie" is based on a popular "delicious, fat corn-husked tamale sold in grocery stores", but with a "CRUCIAL" Californian addition - olives!

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients:

1/4 pound lard or butter
3 cups instant grits
3 cups boiling chicken or beef stock

Filling:
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 Tablespoons lard, butter, or vegetable oil
4 cups cooked meat (shredded chicken, pork, or beef)*
2 pimientos, chopped**
1 1/2 cups pitted olives, black and green
1/3 to 1/2 cup pure ground chili, or more to taste***
Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Whip the 1/4 pound lard or butter until soft and light.
Beat in the grits and gradually add the boiling stock until mixture is smooth.
Cover and set aside while you make the filling.
Sauté onion, garlic, and bell pepper in the lard until soft, about 5 minutes.
Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well.
Taste and add more chili if wanted, because the mush will absorb much of the chili's heat.
Spread half the prepared mush in a 9-inch square baking pan.
Cover with the meat mixture.
Smooth remaining mush over the top.
Bake at 350ºF until mush is crusty on top and the filling is heated through, about 30 minutes.


LuAnn's Notes:
*Or, substitute an appropriate vegetarian alternative such as Griller Recipe Crumbles or Worthington Burger.
**According to GourmetSleuth, "Pimento is the Spanish word for pepper. The pimento is a large red sweet pepper, heart shaped, with a sweeter flavor than a bell pepper. Pimentos are packed in tins and jars either strips, sliced or diced."
***Preferably true New Mexican or Californian chile powder, made from ground, dried native chiles; NOT "chili powder", which is actually a blend of spices.

Source: I Hear America Cooking by Betty Fussell; posted by LuAnn for KRT.

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