Tamales are really tasty and authentic Mexican food. Tamales are made from masa (a traditional corn dough). The masa is then filled with meats, cheeses, or vegetables, wrapped in a cornhusk or banana leaf and then steamed or boiled. The thing about tamales is that even though they are really good they are also really time-consuming. My tamale pie while not a traditional dish still has all of the same ingredients and tastes just as good. And the best part is that it is easy to make. So try something a little different tonight and you might have a new favorite recipe.
1. Wash your hands.
2. For this recipe you will need measuring cups and spoons, a medium bowl, an iron skillet, baking pan, or casserole dish, a heat proof rubber spatula, a large sauté pan, a knife, and a cutting board.
If you are not allowed to use the oven, stove, or a knife by yourself you can ask an adult to help.
ChefElla’s Tamale Pie (4-6 servings)
20 oz. Turkey, Ground (1 package 93% lean)
-You can also use ground beef, pork, chicken, or non-meat items like soy substitutes or even mushroom and beans.
5 oz. Turkey Sausage, (8 oz. Fresh or 5 oz. Pre-Cooked)
-You can use ground turkey, or other kinds of sausage, or you can purchase pre-cooked sausage (or non-meat sausage) and chop into small pieces.
1 Cup Red Bell Pepper, Small Diced (About 1 medium pepper)
1 Cup Red Onion, Small Diced (About ½ of a medium onion)
10 oz. Red Enchilada Sauce, Mild, Canned
14.5 oz. Petit Diced Tomatoes, Canned
2 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Chili Powder
½ tsp Oregano Leaves, Dried
½ tsp Cumin Powder
1 Box Corn Muffin Mix (8.5 oz. box, The recipe on the box will call for additional ingredients.)
8 oz. Monterey Jack Cheese, Shredded
Optional Toppings: Sour Cream, Green Onions, Black Olives, Diced Tomatoes, or Guacamole.
3. Pre-heat oven to 350F.
4. Heat your sauté pan on the stove on medium high heat. Add 1 tsp of olive oil and your ground turkey to the pan. If you are using raw turkey sausage add it to the pan with the ground turkey. Chop and stir up the meat as it cooks so that it breaks up into small pieces. When the meat is no longer pink add it to your skillet or casserole dish. If you are using pre-cooked sausage add it to the turkey when it is done cooking.
5. Return your sauté pan to the stove and add 1 tsp of olive oil. Add your peppers and onions and cook for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally. When the onions begin to look translucent (clear) add your enchilada sauce and diced tomatoes to the pan. Add your chili powder, oregano, and cumin and mix well. Bring the mixture to a boil and then remove from the heat.
6. Add the veggies, sauce, and 1 cup of the shredded cheese to the cooked meat and mix well. Spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of your skillet or casserole dish.
7. In your medium bowl add the liquid ingredients called for by the corn muffin mix. Add the remainder of the shredded cheese to the liquid ingredients and mix well.
8. Add the dry muffin mixture to the wet ingredients and mix gently with your rubber spatula until the mixture looks wet.
9. Add small amounts of the muffin mix randomly over the top of the meat and vegetables. Spray your rubber spatula with pan spray and spread the muffin mixture evenly over the top of the meat and vegetables. If you put the muffin mix over the meat in one large clump it will stick to the meat and not spread well.
10. Put your tamale pie in the oven and bake uncovered for 45 minutes.
11. Remove from the oven and serve right out of your skillet.
Offer your tamale pie with any of the toppings I have recommended or use your own.
ChefElla’s helpers can help by:
Measuring the ingredients
Opening the cans
Mixing the meat and vegetables
Spreading the muffin mix over the top
Older helpers can help sauté the ingredients in the pan