Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tamale Casserole

So I'm good at doing the recipes, just not so good at finding the time to update the blog with my results! So I'll be posting a few of my recent trials today (I hope!) and hope you enjoy reading about them. The first one is a tamale casserole recipe from one of the new cookbooks I picked up recently, Taste of Home's Dinner on a Dime. This recipe came in very handy for using up some leftover ground beef and fresh corn (stripped from the cob) I had in the fridge and hubby really liked it. It makes quite a bit, so if you only have a few people, plan on freezing some for later like we did or plan on feeding a crowd. Here's a link to the cookbook:

The Recipe:

Tamale Casserole

This casserole really heats up dinnertime. It's a family-pleasing main course guaranteed to put a little kick in your menu.

-Kathleen Reid, Petaluma, California

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1 can (2 1/2 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 envelope reduced-sodium taco seasoning
  • 1 cup (4 oz) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup salsa
  1. In a large nonstick skillet, cook beef and jalapeño over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the corn, tomatoes, milk, cornmeal, chilies, olives, egg white and taco seasoning until blended.
  2. Transfer to a 13x9x2-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, at 350°F for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with salsa. Yield: 8 servings.
Editor's Note: When cutting hot peppers, disposable gloves are recommended. Avoid touching your face.

My Results:

Well, as I mentioned, I had some leftover fresh corn to use up, so I substituted 2 cups of the fresh leftover for the frozen, thawed. I also didn't use reduced-fat items since I didn't have those on hand but instead used the regular versions. And I didn't have any olives on hand so I left those out completely. Here is a photo of my ingredients, minus the milk, which I forgot to put in the photo:

I used two jalapeño peppers from our garden in this recipe as they were pretty mild. Diced them up without the seeds and cooked them along with the beef until it was no longer pink, then drained as directed. Meanwhile, I combined the milk with the taco seasoning to dissolve it, then added the egg white, then the cornmeal and finally the tomatoes, green chilies and corn. Once the meat was browned, I tossed it with the other ingredients and poured it all into the 9x13-in pan which I had sprayed with Pam, then baked as directed. Here it is in the oven:

And here it is resting for the requested 10 minutes (which was terribly hard since it smelled so good!)

We served it with salsa as suggested, but also sour cream since that's how I like my Mexican food :) Here's it is all ready to eat...

And boy was it yummy! This is definitely a keeper recipe and one we'll likely do for the freezer as well. This would make a great "take to someone in need" casserole as well since it's not only delicious, but really easy to make and relatively inexpensive as well. I believe you could divide this into two 8x8 pans just as easily as one 9x13 and freeze one before baking if you have a smaller family like we do. I purchase disposable 8x8's from the dollar store and could easily see doubling this recipe to make 4 casseroles I could freeze for giving away. Anyway, just some ideas for future use. Hope you like this one and be sure and let me know if you give it a try!