Simple, Spicy One-Dish Dinners
Recipes reprinted with permission from Jane Butel’s Southwestern Kitchen
How long has it been since you whipped up a tamale pie or a great tasting stew with a savory kick? One dish dinners are so great to make after the holidays, when you have most likely overeaten, over spent, over-cooked and are just plain tired of all the work and excitement of the holidays. They are kind to your pocket book, especially if you make them from scratch.
Along the border in Texas, tamale pies became a favorite staple decades ago. They can be varied greatly. Fundamentally they have a corn meal crust made by simmering corn meal of any type until thick—for time saving, you can substitute polenta already prepared in a tube in most grocers. (Some stores even have corn meal mush already cooked and ready to go in a tube.) Either of these are generally available in the refrigerated section of the store.
For even more time saving you can use any leftover chili, most any kind, and mix with beans and or olives and place in the corn crust, top with more corn mixture and sprinkle with cheese and you are good to go!