This recipe is from our grammar school cookbook. Thank you Kathy G! My DH made this and I was truly impressed. This can be made as mild or as spicy as you like. Choose your salsa, cheese & amount of jalapeno according to your taste. Olives are optional. I also like to make the salsa smoother in the food processor to make it more kid friendly (no pieces!). I have used both condensed and regular whole milk with success, also combined bottled and fresh salsa.
- 1 lb lean ground beef, cooked and drained
- 1 small onion, fine dice
- 16 ounces bottled salsa, any heat preference I like medium
- 1⁄3 cup water
- 1 (7/8 ounce) packet taco seasoning, Chi Chi's Fiesta is my preference
- 3 ounces ripe black olives, chopped (optional)
- 1 cup cornmeal, dry
- 12 ounces evaporated milk, I have used whole milk
- 4 ounces green chilies, canned, diced
- 1 cup monterey jack pepper cheese, divided, grated, sub. cheddar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Cook ground beef and onion in a large skillet until beef is browned, and onions tender, drain.
- Stir in salsa (can make smoother in texture in the food processor, if you desire), water and taco seasoning packet; bring to a boil until some of the water as boiled off and it is the sauce is saucy not thin and watery.
- Reduce heat to low and stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add olives, if using, and stir.
- In a medium sauces pan: combine cornmeal, evaporated milk, green chilies, 1/2 C cheese and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for 5-7 minutes or until thickened (to the consistency of thin oatmeal).
- In a 8x8 ungreased baking dish: Spoon in meat filling, then spread cornmeal on top of meat mixture.
- Bake for 25 minutes, sprinkle with remaining cheese and garnish w/ jalapenos. Bake an additional 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
Had this for dinner tonight and it was excellent! We really liked the 'polenta' like topping. I added kidney beans, just because, and used mozza/cheddar as that was what was in the fridge.
This is a great tamale pie. It goes together quickly and the ingredients are always on hand. I used my own salsa and taco seasoning and instead of a jalapeno I used 1 habanaro.
I followed exactly except for more olives. The "crust" thickened really fast and was a little hard to spread, but tasted like a really good tamale. Next time I'll use HOT salsa & add an additional jalepeno or two and serve with sour cream. We had a ranch salad on the side and it was a perfect dinner! A definite keeper!