Saturday, November 8, 2008

Tamale Turnaround

This recipe was created by a woman who said she "came up with this dish to satisfy my craving for tamales I had a Mexican restaurants when I was growing up in Houston. Homemade tamales are too time-consuming to prepare for weeknight meals, but I discovered a corn bread mix approximates the flavor." The second I read this I couldn't help but think of the the tamales I ate growing up. When I was younger there was an establishment called "Ben's" that made the most amazing tamales ever. They were beef tamales and you could order them for delivery right to your door. They came wrapped individually in thin paper (not corn husks) and your entire order was surrounded in grease-soaked newspaper. I know that doesn't seem appetizing at all, but Ben's tamales were amazing. At any time I could convince my Daddy to order a dozen tamales. It is one of my childhood food memories that I will never forget.

Chicken Tamale Casserole
Cooking Light November 2008

  • 1 cup (4 ounces) preshredded 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese ( I used reduced fat 2% blend)
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 (14 3/4-ounce) can cream-style corn ( I used regular corn - I hate cream corn)
  • 1 (8.5-ounce) box corn muffin mix (I used Jiffy)
  • 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (10-ounce) can red enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast ( I used a rotisserie chicken )
  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine 1/4 cup cheese and next 7 ingredients (through chiles) in a large bowl,

stirring just until moist. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

3. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until set. Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork;

pour enchilada sauce over top. Top with chicken (I also added about 3 Tablespoons of the enchilada sauce to the chicken to moisten it a bit;

sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese.

Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes.

Cut into 8 pieces; top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream.

This casserole was very delicious. The healthy aspect of it was a far cry from the tamales of my childhood, but that was a welcome change. It was also very easy to make. You could throw this meal together in no time at all on a busy weeknight. Next time I will add jalapenos to the cornbread mix to spice it up a bit, but other than that this was a winner!


Allie said...

Soooooo making this very soon!!

Gabriela said...

I would have to agree. This definitely looks and sounds like a winning recipe. Good idea to add jalapeƱos to the corn bread mix. I'm on it! (well, my DH is)

KMAYS said...

That looks really yummy. I ate tamales growing up as well in Texas. I discovered the hardest thing about making a good tamale is the filling to exterior ratio. It's great I don't have to worry about it with this recipe!

Cary McClellin said...

Will probably make this for 140 homeless of downtown OKC.

Jennifer Biggs said...

Making this right now and it smells DELICIOUS! Quick tip - poach your chicken in water and when its done (and still hot), toss it in your Kitchenaid stand mixer, with enchilada sauce, to shred (use paddle). It comes out perfect every time!!

Anonymous said...

Do you drain the Corn??? Making this but unsure about the corn.

Anonymous said...

Made this tonight and it was wonderful and easy to make. Will definitely make again. Thanks for sharing.

Rachel said...

I love the texture of these tamales. Thank you so much for taking the time to document this recipe.

Cheri said...

I have made this a couple times. I prefer to keep the corn out of the cornbread mix and put it on top of the enchilada sauce. I also added black beans and salsa to the corn. I think I will add a little cayenne or taco seasoning to the cornbread next time. This is a favorite at our house now.

Anonymous said...

Just finished dinner. My husband is PI.CK.Y. and he loved this. It's now a twice a month staple!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if this could be made, then frozen before it is cooked?

zoobyli said...

I'm making this tonight but I'm using left over cuban pork roast since I didn't have chicken.

zoobyli said...

I'm making this tonight but I'm using left over cuban pork roast since I didn't have chicken.

Patricia Lyons said...

Thank you for sharing! I will make this! Love tamales!