Mexican Madness Monday

I love Mexican food! Partly because it is so quick and easy to make but mainly because it is delish!  Usually we have a Mexican-ish meal at some stage in the week and often Monday because its after we have been shopping on the weekend and have plenty of yummy fresh ingredients.  So Mexican Madness Monday was born.  So here is a re-cap of last nights’ Mexican Dish:

Tamale Pie  (prep. 15 min., bake 40 min., serves 4-6)

  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/4 cups cornmeal/polenta
  • 1 tbsp. butter or butter substitute (more for the dish)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 med. onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 med. bell pepper (I use red)
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 1 dried chilie (optional)
  • 500g ground turkey (or other lean meat of your choice)  use extra beans if you are a veggie!
  • 1 can (400g) plum tomatoes
  • 1 can (400g) beans of your choice (pinto, black, kidney….even lentils!)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika (optional if you can’t find it)
  • 8 pimento stuffed olives, chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup monterey jack or cheddar cheese, grated
  1. In a large pot, bring the water to a boil, add 2 tsp. of salt and wisk in the cornmeal/polenta. Turn heat to medium and keep stirring until it is quite thick (you might want to switch to a spoon). Once you are happy with the consistency stir in 1 tbsp. of butter, place the lid on the pot and set aside.

    Cornmeal/Polenta

  2. In a deep pan, heat oil and saute the onion and garlic until soft.  Add the meat (if using) to brown.  Add the spices and chilie and mix well.  Add the beans, carrot, bell pepper and canned tomatoes.  Keep on medium heat to allow some of the liquid to evaporate, keep stirring occasionally.  I usually keep is cooking for 10-15 min until most of the liquid has evaporated but the meat remains juicy.
  3. Butter the edges of a ceramic baking dish and pour the meat mixture in.  Sprinkle the olives on top.  I know olives sound like a weird addition….but so good! If you are not a fan leave them out.
  4. Give the cornmeal mixture a stir and pour over the meat and spread out evenly.  Its ok if its a bit lumpy and doesn’t touch all the sides…its rustic!  Top with grated cheese and bake for 35-40 min at 350F (176 C) until the cheese is melted and the edges have browned.

    Ready for the oven!

  5. Let stand for 5 min and serve with salad greens, tomatoes, avocado, cucumber,sour cream (I use greek yogurt), and salsa. I’m sure a margarita would be nice too!
I think Al put it best last night when he said…..”oh man some lucky people are sitting down to TV dinners right now and I have to eat this?”  hahah I love him!
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About healthyasahorsevet

I am a horse vet writing about life, food and my quest for health.
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