Have you ever felt the kind of tired where if you sat down, you'd be at risk for dozing off? You know what I mean ... elbow on the table, chin propped up by your hand, eyelids threatening to close? Yeah, you know what I mean.
That's where I was yesterday, wiped out and faced with making supper. Naturally, the little natives in my house had the opposite energy level. Why is that? Is there some strange phenomena or alternative lunar cycle that creates this mayhem? Anyway, I do have a point in all of this. Due to my lack of energy (and enthusiasm) last night, I longed to just whip up a quick, no brainer meal. Luckily my larder is stocked full, so I had lots to choose from. But what to make? My depleted mental energy didn't even have the oomph to make that decision. So off to the internet I went for some culinary rescuing.
My internet searches kept bringing up the same recipe over and over, so I took fate's hint and went with it. The recipe was called Pork Tamale Pie and the same recipe appears on about 400 gazillion sites. It's touted as quick and easy, supposedly kid friendly, gluten free, and about 45 minutes to pull together. Yep, this was for me.
As I assembled the ingredients, I thought there's no way I will be blogging this as it's a bare bones, no frills recipe. I threw it together, plopped it in the oven, and 35 minutes later, I was dishing it out to my natives. It wasn't even very pretty, but guess what? They ATE it. They weren't wild about it, mind you, but they ate it and didn't raid the pantry afterward for snacks before bed. And hubbyman? He devoured it; kept going back for more. The man kept saying over and over how much he loved it, how I should make this again, should make this again, should make this again, etc. He even brought it up again this morning how great dinner was last night and how I should, you guessed it, "make this again". I couldn't believe it. I know that I stood there looking at him this morning with the blinking owl look as he's bringing up dinner from the night before.
Well, personally, I thought it was fair to good, but it obviously gets a thumbs up from the hubbyman. I'd much rather have real tamales, which I do make with great success, but this will do in a pinch. It's easy, meaty, cheesy, and corny. If those items appeal to you, tuck this recipe away for when you need a quick dinner. It would be good for a potluck, too.
Make This Again Pork Tamale Pie
2-1/2 cups shredded cooked pork + 1/2 cup broth
1 cup corn meal
1/2 cup milk
1 15 oz can whole kernel corn
1 14.5 oz can peeled and diced tomatoes
2 eggs beaten
1 teaspoon ground pasilla chili powder*
1 teaspoon ground ancho chili powder*
1/2 teaspoon regular chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 cup shredded co jack or cheddar cheese
*NOTE: If you don't have ground pasilla or ancho chili powder, just up the regular chili powder amount to 2 teaspoons
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 baking dish. In a large pan over medium heat, combine the cornmeal, milk, corn, tomatoes, and eggs. Stir well and add the chili powders and paprika. Stir often and cook for 10 minutes. Add the pork and broth, mix well. Poor into the prepared baking dish. Top with cheese. Bake for 35 minutes.
I served this with creamy coleslaw, sliced strawberries, a plain fresh tomato salsa, and homemade guacamole. The cheese on top made it very cheesy. If you like cheesy, you'll like this.
I think this would be good with shredded beef or shredded chicken, too. I would prefer it with some onion, garlic, and a little chili pepper heat, but perhaps the absence of those is what appealed to my natives. In any case, it's quick, filling, and on the repeat list. Oh, and it's gluten free, all the way baby!
What are your "go to" meals for when you are looking for quick and easy?