Spicy Tamale Pie with Polenta Topping Recipe

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (large)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 ounce cans)
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained (11 to 15 oz 11 ounce can)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
  • Topping
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
Directions
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef in oil.

Add onion, garlic, and bell pepper; cook for 2 minutes, until just tender.

Pour off excess grease.

Stir in tomatoes, corn, and seasonings; simmer for about 5 minutes longer.

Mix cornmeal with 1 cup water. Stir into the mixture in the skillet.

Cover and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.

Add the sliced olives and pour into a lightly greased shallow 2 1/2-quart or 13 X 9 baking pan.

Make polenta topping:

Heat 1 1/2 cups milk with 1 teaspoon salt and the butter.

Gradually stir in the 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal.

Cook, stirring, until thickened.

Remove from heat; stir in cheese and beaten eggs.

Pour the topping around the edge of casserole.

Bake in a preheated 375° oven for 20 to 25 minutes.

Yields: 6 servings

PERSONALIZING THE RECIPE: I like to use whole ripe olive and much less (3/4 tsp.) chili pepper. I use 1/2 tsp of cumin for the Mexican flavor for the single recipe.

TO QUADRUPLE THE RECIPE, use one casserole and put three in the freezer for a handy meal to serve later. Costco sells 91% lean ground beef in (six) one pound chubs (packed like sausages). This is an easy recipe to make beginning with 6 lbs. of lean ground beef. Quadruple the quantities and use a food chopper to chop onions and bell peppers.

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