This week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays comes from Dorie Greenspan’s latest cookbook, Everyday Dorie and was one that I’ll remember in the depths of winter (this week it’s FINALLY spring-like temperatures here so it wasn’t the best match for the weather, no matter how tasty it is!).
When I was just married and our cookbook shelf had only a few books on it I used to make the tamale pie from ‘Joy of Cooking’ just about weekly. The reasons for my devotions were many: The dish was easy enough for me a novice, to get right (especially since I used a boxed mix for the topping); it could be made in my teeny kitchen; it was inexpensive; the ingredients were readily available; and my husband, Michael, loved it. Although I let it drop from my repertoire decades ago, Michael never stopped loving it and asking for it. So I came up with this version — which has all the attributes of the old pie, plus exciting new flavors and textures. Tamale pie is two good things in one: chili and cornbread, one on top of the other. In my dish, the chili is made with cooked chicken (you can use a rotisserie bird or leftover turkey, if that’s what you’ve got); peppers, both hot and sweet; and black beans and diced tomatoes, both from cans. I know it sounds heretical, but I use the canning liquids in the chili – they’re too tasty to ditch. These days, I serve the pie with a crisp green salad – think romaine or a wedge of iceberg. In the old days, I’d top it with sour cream, still a good option.
Ok, so full disclosure, growing up in Australia cornbread wasn’t something we ate and I don’t make/ eat this very often. It is, however, a lovely easy recipe that I should remember to make and use on regular or vegetarian chili. It really elevates the dish to a “full meal” – especially if it’s served with a side salad.
This recipe, though, isn’t what I’d call an “everyday” recipe. It’s got a lot of ingredients (including canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce which I had to hunt down as well as cooked chicken) and I made it over a two day period – the chili on one day and the cornbread/ baking on the second.
The chili, though, is amazing – so so tasty (I guess because of all the ingredients and spices!) and worth the effort. I’d make this again with ground beef or chicken and just have it a chili, no cornbread too!
This is a perfect dish to make if you are still under a “stay at home” order (hello Ontario!) but maybe you might have to wing it with a few of the ingredients (the chipotle chili in adobo sauce don’t regularly feature in my pantry!). In any case, a tasty surprise that I’ll keep in my back pocket for cooler months!
Get the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s Chicken Chili Tamale Pie on page 125 of Everyday Dorie or here.
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Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “Everyday Dorie” for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions 100% my own.
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