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Old 08-07-2007, 09:47 PM   #1
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Tamale Pie

I don't know if this is really where this belongs, as I don't think it is "authentic" to anything or anywhere, but one of those western mish-mashes. But I've made it three times and it was a hit all three times. The problem? I don't have anything resembling a recipe for it. That is no big deal for the bottom layer(s) of ground meat, maybe/maybe not beans, etc (even leftover chili!), but when it comes to the top, masa, layer, I've used recipes for various tamales in all of the cookbooks I own, or on the back of the bag of masa harina. The problem with using a basic tamale masa recipe is that tamales are usually steamed, so I feel mine is a little on the dry side (no complaints from my husband or friends who eat it, though!). Anyone got a moist recipe for the masa layer on top? NO I DO NOT WANT CORNBREAD.

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Old 08-07-2007, 10:18 PM   #2
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My family's version of tamale pie begins with enchilada sauce placed on the bottom of a casserole dish. This is followed by a layer of fresh corn tortillas. The seasoned meat is then placed on that, followed by shredded cheddar, sloiced black olives, and chopped onion. Spoon more sauce over the top, add another layer of tortillas, and the fillings. Top with a final layer of tortillas, and spoon a generous helping of sauce over the top, to completely cover the tortillas. Spread shredded cheddar over the top, cover, and back at 350 for 30 minutes.

The idea is to let the tortillas absorb much of the moisture from the enchillada sauce, turning the tortillas into a very soft and moist masa layer between fillings. The use of fresh corn tortillas makes this an exceptionally easy dish to make. My wife insists that I breifly heat the tortillas in hot oil (in a skillet) to soften before placing in the casserole.

Of course you can change the filling ingredients. But if you follow the technique (just like making lasgna), you will have a wonderfully moist, but not soupy tamale or enchilada pie.

Seeeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claire
I don't know if this is really where this belongs, as I don't think it is "authentic" to anything or anywhere, but one of those western mish-mashes. But I've made it three times and it was a hit all three times. The problem? I don't have anything resembling a recipe for it. That is no big deal for the bottom layer(s) of ground meat, maybe/maybe not beans, etc (even leftover chili!), but when it comes to the top, masa, layer, I've used recipes for various tamales in all of the cookbooks I own, or on the back of the bag of masa harina. The problem with using a basic tamale masa recipe is that tamales are usually steamed, so I feel mine is a little on the dry side (no complaints from my husband or friends who eat it, though!). Anyone got a moist recipe for the masa layer on top? NO I DO NOT WANT CORNBREAD.
Claire,
I've eaten tamale pie or what the person making it called it her filling was like the corn meal used on tamales but not so stiff..I'm wondering is you used the recipe for polenta but added some extra water so it could be spread on as a layer if that would work? You cook so many different things, I bet you can do something with that.

Just an idea off the top of my head..
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:43 PM   #4
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Good weed of the north has it right on the head I make mine like this and never had any complaints. Some time I mix a little Masa in my sauce for flavor and plenty of good cheddar chees LOL
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Old 08-09-2007, 12:52 PM   #5
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How are you making your masa? I don't know if this will help but when making tamales you need to mix the masa until it is light enough that, when a tablespoon is dropped into a bowl of water, it will float. If it does not float then you haven't "whipped" the masa enough to allow a good amount of air into the dough to keep it light and moist...
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