Say Happy Birthday with Tamale Skillet Pie

On the National Day front, today is National Baklava Day. Personally, I think Baklava Day should be celebrated in December. It’s one of my favorite Holiday Baking projects every year, a tradition in our house. Today is also Homemade Bread Day. What is better on a cold day then the smell of bread baking? Yum!

So why am I ignoring both of these scrumptious National Days? For one thing, it’s Tuesday and we all know what that means in our house – Tijuana Tuesday. It’s also my son’s birthday. Mexican Food is perfect for his birthday. My son is a cook at a Mexican Restaurant. He has loved cooking since he was very young. No surprise that he would end up cooking for a living.

So rather than pick from a list of impersonal National Days, I wanted to wish my guy a Happy Birthday. I am so proud of the man you have become.

Beef and Bean Tamale Skillet Pie
1 small Bell Pepper
2 medium Jalapeno Peppers
1/2 White Onion
1 (15 oz) can Whole Pinto Beans
1 box Cornbread-Muffin Mix (such as Jiffy)
1/3 cup Milk
2 tablespoons Butter
1 Egg
1 (4.5 oz) can Hatch Green Chiles
2 cups shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
1 lb Ground Beef
1 tablespoon minced Garlic from a jar
2/3 cup Beef Stock
2 tablespoons Taco Seasoning Mix
1-1/4 cups Red Enchilada Sauce
1 tablespoons Masa Flour
1 or 2 Roma Tomatoes as desired
Handful Cilantro or Parsley, chopped as desired
Sour Cream as desired

Lightly spray a large, deep cast iron skillet with cooking spray. Set aside.

Note: If possible, use a chocolate bell pepper that is very sweet and red jalapenos that have a bit more heat. Since we grow our own, that wasn’t an issue.

Stem, core and chop the bell pepper and Jalapeno peppers. Set aside. Cut onion in half from tip to root. Reserve one half for another use. Peel remaining half, dice and set aside.

Drain beans, but DO NOT rinse. Set aside.

Place the prepared skillet in a cold oven. Heat oven and skillet to 400 degrees.

In medium bowl, add muffin mix, milk, and egg. Melt butter and add to the bowl. Stir just until moistened (batter will be lumpy). Stir in green chiles and 1 cup of the cheese.

Carefully remove hot skillet from the oven. Spread cornbread mixture out on the sizzling skillet. Return to the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until cornbread base is light golden brown around the edges.

Meanwhile, another cast iron skillet, cook beef, bell pepper, onion and garlic over medium-high heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is no longer pink; drain. Add beef stock, taco seasoning mix and garlic; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 3 to 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened. Add pinto beans; stir until combined. Sprinkle with Masa Flour, stir well and let simmer for the sauce to thicken.

Remove skillet with cornbread from the oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Using the end of a wooden spoon, poke holes in cornbread about an inch or so apart. Pour enchilada sauce over top, spreading sauce to fill holes. Top with beef and bean mixture and remaining 1 cup cheese. Cover with sheet of foil sprayed with cooking spray; bake 20 to 25, until tamale pie is bubbling around edge and cheese is melted.

Remove foil, let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. While the Tamale Pie cools, chop tomato and cilantro for garnish.

Just before serving, sprinkle with cilantro and tomato as desired.

Slice as you would a pie, lift with wide spatula to individual plates. Dollop with sour cream and enjoy.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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