Tamale pie...


Ever get that certain "yen" for good Mexican food, but don't want to get into the car and drive to your favorite Mexican restaurant?  Well, when you get that certain yen, this provides a great alternative: a recipe that will satisfy that yen, especially when accompanied on the side with sour cream, some good guacamole, and, of course, a very cold beer served in an iced beer stein.

For this recipe to have that "authentic" Mexican flavor, it's imperative to use chorizo sausage.  It's easy to find at almost any grocery story today.  At Giant's, for example, smoked chorizo is found in the same refrigerator case as is kielbasa.  Genuardi's oftentimes has fresh chorizo available in the meat department.  I will stock up on it, storing the chorizo in the downstairs freezer so that I have it on hand to provide for that certain yen for Mexican food whenever it comes along.

What is really fun with this recipe is making the tamale crust.  It's more like a cornbread.  With the eggs, jalapeņo, and cheeses, however, the "crust" is more like the cornmeal mixture the hot tamales were rolled in that my Dad used to purchase in Humboldt Park, the Mexican section of Chicago, on his way home from work downtown.  You simply boiled those tamales (and covered with homemade chili and raw onions...it can't be beat for lunch!).  This tamale pie is baked.

Experiment with the recipe.  I included some variations that give the tamale pie a different flavor.  I sometimes will make a double recipe of the filling in order to accomplish two purposes: I will use about half for the tamale pie and save the other half for another tamale pie or for burritos (just place several tablespoons of the filling in the middle of a floured tortilla, add some Mexican cheeses, fold up [the correct way, of course] and microwave).  So, I freeze whatever I have leftover after putting the tamale pie together for when I get another yen for Mexican.




Like the idea?  Here's the recipe:



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