27 February 2009

When life forbids you from making tamales, make a casserole

I've been craving tamales for a few weeks now, but I just don't have the time to devote to cooking lately. Midterm I start to lose a little steam and get just a tad crabby, so when I develop a craving for something, I WANT IT NOW. I guess you could say this casserole version of chicken tamales is a deconstruction of the classic, but really I like to think of it as inside out tamales with a couple extra gooey treats. It isn't even close to the authentic tastiness that is the tamale, but it does the late winter trick.

The recipe can be found here. For a vegetarian version of this dish, I've used black beans instead of meat before, and it came out just as yummy with an added fiber bonus. Just remember to pat the beans dry beforehand or the cornbread layer will become soggy from too much moisture.

The ingredients, mostly. Enchilada sauce (I love homemade, but alas! no time!), cornbread mix, creamed corn (sometimes I use fresh if I need to use up my frozen supply), green chilies, egg substitute, crushed red pepper and cumin. Not pictured: shredded cheese, fat free half and half (sub for milk), and shredded chicken thigh meat.

The wet ingredients before baking

The cornbread layer after its first baking


Pardon my Ziploc--I bring hubby his dinner at work....