Home Food DigiBites: A Lazy Sunday Leads To A Re-Worked Comfort Food Classic

DigiBites: A Lazy Sunday Leads To A Re-Worked Comfort Food Classic

Photo: Epicurean Exchange

Happy Holiday week! I hope our news24/680.com followers have been able to take some time off during this holiday week before the New Year!
For some of us in the food business, this week is a little quiet and I have time to rest, recover and plan for the coming year.

Chef Charlie

So, yesterday, on a lazy, rainy, football Sunday, I wanted to make a new dish for the family. I did some research on a recipe I had never made before and sounded perfect for the day. This recipe was inspired by a number of options I found in my library. I made some adjustments and came up with my version of Tamale Pie. For ease of finding ingredients, I have included some commonly available brands and package sizes to make the shopping and preparation as easy as possible.

The family really enjoyed the meal and we have plenty of leftovers for those home from school for winter break.

Give this a try and I hope it warms you and your family as it did mine!
– Chef Charlie

A classic concoction we used to pester mom for as kids…

Tamale Pie

Equipment: A 12 x 2-inch cast iron skillet (or other oven safe material)

Vegetable oil cooking spray

1 egg

1/2 cup sour cream

1 – 15-ounce can creamed corn, divided

1 – 8 1/2-ounce box Jiffy corn muffin mix

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small red onion, cut into a 1/2 – inch dice

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 tablespoons chili powder

Pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 – pound lean ground beef

6 scallions, trimmed and both white and green thinly sliced, divided

1 – 4 ounce can Ortega diced mild green chiles

1 cup frozen corn kernels

1 – 19 ounce can El Paso red enchilada sauce (mild, medium or hot, depending on taste)

2 cups grated sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses

1 cup fresh cilantro, stemmed and coarsely chopped, divided

Garnishes: sour cream, guacamole, salsa, lime
•     Preheat an oven to 400˚F. Spray oven-safe skillet lightly with cooking spray.

 •     In a large bowl, combine the egg, sour cream and 1/2 of the can of creamed corn. Add the corn muffin mix; mix well, and then transfer to the prepared skillet. Place on middle rack and bake for 20 minutes.
•     While the crust is baking, heat olive oil in another large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Sauté until onions are soft, 3 minutes. Taste, add more spice (chili powder, red pepper) if necessary.
•     Crumble and fold the beef into the onion mixture. Add half of the scallions, green chiles, frozen corn, half of the chopped cilantro and the remaining creamed corn. Mix well and cook until beef is browned.
•     Remove corn crust from oven. Use a fork to poke holes over the entire crust. Pour the can of enchilada sauce over the crust. Top with the beef mixture and then the cheese and remaining chopped cilantro.
•     Place skillet on a sheetpan (to prevent dripping); place in the oven, and bake for 20 minutes. To finish, remove skillet from the oven, turn on the broiler and return skillet to upper rack under broiler and finish until cheese is well-browned. Serve with garnishes.

Serves 6 – 8

© 2019, Epicurean Exchange


  1. Almost a tamal de cazuela. Not the American version and not quite the Mexican variety! Interesting though!

  2. Any recommendation for a good cast iron skillet? I have an old Griswold I inherited and used forever but it is beginning to look a little used. Is there a modern equivalent or should I look for an old replacement?

  3. By strange coincidence I happened to open this on the kitchen desktop, which is near the kids tablets and also on this page, next to my husband’s cell phone —- also turned to your page. It looks best on the tablet and cell!!

  4. Absolutely go-to comfort food. I usually use Mom’s Joy of Cooking that was a wedding prezzie .in the 1940’s. Love my cast iron, doc says that’s why my red blood cells are so nice and healthy, too.

    By some derailed train of thought, this made me want to make a pineapple or apple upside down cake! Winter food…

  5. Delicious. Made this for a “cheap and cheerful” quickie meal between Holiday feasting. Huge hit. Proof that the simplest dishes can be the best.

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