Ditch the Mix Main Dish Meat

Skillet Tamale Pie

I love the idea of cooking something on the stove top and then being able to finish it in the oven.  You can possibly do this in a similar 12″ shape container.  Just cook the stuff in a skillet and then add it to the baking dish.  Then, add your topping from the bowl.  Though I must be a crazy woman to turn on the oven in 108 degree heat outside.  But, it was only for a few minutes.  I’ve seen soooo many skillet recipes that say you need an oven safe skillet.  My Calphalon is awesome, but I think it only goes to 375 degrees.  Most recipes I see that move the skillet from the stove top to the oven require at least 425 degrees.  A previous example is my post for the Original Pancake House Apple Pancake.    I had to cook the apples separately, then put them in a pie pan and put the pie pan in the oven.  With the 12″ cast iron I can just cook the apples, pour the batter directly on top and throw the whole thing into the oven.

We all loved the skillet tamale pie.  Maddox ate around the tomatoes (but he likes ketchup??!!) and the rest of us had second and third helpings.  Definitely a keeper.

The photo presentation went well yesterday.  I actually got a call today requesting I give a similar presentation to their club AND get paid for it.  Woo hoo!  Now if only I can do 10 presentations per day 5 days a week….   or not.

Skillet Tamale Pie

yield 6 servings

2 tsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
1 red bell pepper, chop fine
2 T chili powder  (I used all of it and kids didn’t mind.  Not a lot of heat.)
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 lb. 95% lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinse
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, drain
1 ear corn, cut off the kernals (corn is in season now so I had this.  I think 1/2 cup of frozen corn would work, too in a pinch.)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 Tb. cilantro, minced
salt and pepper

Cornbread Topping
here you can use the Jiffy box and follow the instructions on the box to make the batter or make from scratch below:
3/4 cup AP flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
3 Tb. sugar
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk (I cheated with 3/4 Tb. lemon juice and added 3/4 cup milk)
1 egg
1 Tb. butter, melt

1.  Heat the oil on medium in your 12″ cast iron skillet (or use regular skillet and pour this into a casserole dish).  Once hot, add your onion, pepper and chili powder.  Cook that until onion is soft – about 5 minutes.
2.  Throw in the garlic and stir 30 seconds.
3.  Dump in the meat, beans, tomatoes and corn.  Cook that until the meat is done.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees here.  Or do it at the beginning if you are not living somewhere that is 108 degrees outside.

4.  Remove your skillet from the heat and stir in the cheese and cilantro.  Also salt and pepper to taste!
5.  While that meat is cooking, you can throw together the topping.  It is really easy and sometimes I mix the dry stuff up during breakfast so it is ready to go.  In a large bowl:  mix your dry stuff:  flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  In a large measuring cup, measure and mix your wet stuff:  buttermilk, egg and butter.  Add wet to dry and stir until it just comes together.  (a.k.a. the “muffin method”)
6.  Spoon the topping over the meat mixture in the skillet.  I spread it with an offset spatula.  Throw the whole thing into the oven for 15 minutes.  Cool for about 10 minutes and enjoy!  **I garnished the top with chopped cilantro and a sprinkling of smoked paprika for some color.

Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen’s Healthy Family Recipes Cookbook

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