Tamale corn casserole: A tried and true Mexican offering

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Tamale corn casserole

To make Tamale corn casserole, you will need:

• 1 pound ground beef

• 1 large onion, finely chopped

• 1 teaspoon cumin

• 1 teaspoon dried oregano

• 3 cups whole corn

• 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal

• 2 tablespoons melted butter

• 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1 (4-ounce) can whole mild chilies, drained and cut up

• 1 cup Colby cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brown the ground beef. Add the onion, cumin, and oregano. Mix well. Cook until the onion is cooked. In a blender, process the corn, cornmeal, butter, sugar, and salt. (It is recommended that you process in three separate batches.) In a 2-quart casserole, layer half of the corn mixture. Top it with half of the chilies. Layer with the ground beef mixture, topped with the remaining chilies. Sprinkle with cheese. The remaining corn mixture goes on top. Cover and bake for about an hour, until the mixture has browned.

I’ve had some calls about the zucchini recipes that were featured in last week’s column.

One of the recipes does not call for sugar. I thought I remembered trying this recipe, but perhaps not. I checked it out against the original recipe, from a newspaper clipping I’ve had for some time, but I did not leave out the sugar when I typed the ingredients.

I’ll try this recipe as soon as I get a chance.

Another inquiry concerned the second featured recipe. Someone wanted to know if there should be cocoa with the ingredients. Again I checked the original. No cocoa was called for, which isn’t unusual with zucchini recipes — especially muffins.

However, I’m sure that you could add cocoa if you wish.

I should try all recipes before including them in my column. Part of the problem is that my husband and I cannot eat all of the desserts and other recipes that I try out. I apologize for any inconvenience!

If any of you baked up last week’s zucchini recipes, please call and let me know how they turned out.

In the meantime, I have cooked up this week’s featured recipe—several times. It does not call for zucchini.

To make “Tamale Corn Casserole”, you will need: 1 pound ground beef, 1 large onion (finely chopped), 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 3 cups whole corn, 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal, 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 (4-ounce) can whole mild chilies (drained and cut up) and 1 cup shredded Colby cheese.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Get out a 2-quart casserole dish.

Brown the ground beef. Stir in the onion, cumin and oregano. Cook until the onion is tender.

While waiting for the onion to cook, get out the blender. Use it to process the corn, cornmeal, butter, sugar and salt. (The original recipe recommends processing in three separate batches. I just do it all at once.)

Put half of the corn mixture in the bottom of the casserole dish. Top with half of the chilies. Add the ground beef/onion mixture.

Top this with the rest of the chilies. Sprinkle with cheese.

Top with the rest of the corn mixture. Cover and bake about 1 hour, until the mixture is browned.

There’s one great thing about Mexican casseroles; you can substitute ingredients. For example, if you don’t have Colby cheese, you can use whatever you do have, like cheddar. I usually use the 4-ounce cans of diced chilies instead of cutting up whole chilies.

And if a recipe calls for mushroom soup, you can get substitute cream of chicken soup.

If you have a recipe you’d like to share, call me at 824-8809 or write to me at P.O. Box 415, Craig, CO, 81626.

Don’t forget to call or write to me if you tried one of last week’s recipes.

Copyright Diane Prather, 2012

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