Monday, September 30, 2013

Chicken Chili Tamale Pie

As much as I would love to take credit for this recipe, I stole it from Food and Wine but I tweaked it a little.  It was amazingly good and really easy.  There are a couple of steps, but you basically cook the chicken, make the chili, make the cornbread and bake.  You can also use pre-cooked chicken if you have it on hand.

Chicken Chili Tamale Pie (serves 4-5):
4 chicken thighs, or 2 breasts
Mexican Spice Mix - equal portions of chili powder, coriander, cumin, oregano brown sugar, salt,  and pepper (should be about 2-3 tbsp)
canola oil

Heat oven to 400 F.  Sprinkle the spice mix on both sides of the chicken (if you have some left over, save it for the chili), drizzle a couple drops of oil over each thigh and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.  Let cool slightly and shred with two forks.

1 tbsp canola oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup frozen corn
salt and pepper
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
few dashes of red chili flakes
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup (or a little more) of chicken broth
shredded chicken from above
chopped cilantro

In a large skillet, heat the oil and saute the onion, garlic and bell pepper.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the frozen corn and stir for a minute or two.  Add the spices (and any left over spices from the spice mix above), let toast for a minute.  Add the tomato paste and chicken broth.  Let cook on low for 5 minutes or so, add the chicken and the cilantro.  Taste for seasoning.  Keep on low while you make the cornbread.

3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1-2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
few dashes of red chili flakes
couple pinches of pepper
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp milk
1 tsp half and half
3 tbsp canola oil
1 large, or 2 small eggs, beaten
2 hand-fulls of shredded cheddar cheese plus more for sprinkling on top

In a bowl mix the dry ingredients with a whisk.  Combine the wet ingredients and pour those into the dry, whisk to incorporate.  Add the cheddar cheese, stir to combine.

Turn oven down to 350 F.  Coat a ceramic baking dish with non stick spray.  Transfer the Chili to the dish and top with the Cornbread.  Sprinkle a little more cheese on top and bake for 40 minutes, until the cornbread is done and has a nice color to it.  Let rest for 5-10 minutes to set and garnish with some more cilantro.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Esquites is like Elote but off the cob, much easier to eat but has the same yummy creamy, tangy, spicy flavor that I love.  While the Boy won't touch this with a 10 foot pole (he's mayo-phobic), I love it and it's a super easy side dish to go with tacos, enchiladas, or even huevos rancheros.  You can either use corn on the cob, or for an easier version, I used sweet white frozen corn.

Esquites (serves two):

2 cups of frozen corn
1-2 tbsp low fat mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper
1 scallion, thinly sliced
5 cilantro sprigs
1 lime, zested and juiced
queso fresco or Parmesan, freshly grated

Heat up a frying pan super hot, add the frozen corn and be careful, they will pop.  Cover and "saute" for a few minutes, until the corn has a little char on it.

Add to a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients and taste for seasoning.  Serve warm immediately.