Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tamale Bake

It's been awhile since I've posted a regular "main dish" recipe--I almost hate to post anything these days unless I have a picture, and I haven't made anything picture-worthy or different in a while. (Sounds like I need to get out my rut, huh?) (eta--I've added a picture now!)

So I'm pulling one out of my family favorites repertoire to share. I love this recipe because it's, as always, quick and easy; and because everything can be kept on hand in your pantry/fridge/freezer stockpile, just waiting for those nights you don't have time for something more elaborate.

Tamale Bake

  • 1 can of tamales, drained and unwrapped

  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained

  • 1 can chili

  • shredded cheese--cheddar, monterrey jack, or taco blend

Unwrap the tamales and place in a greased or cooking sprayed casserole dish. (This is important! I gave this recipe to someone who forgot this step, and they had tamale wrappers in their casserole when they tried to serve it!) You can lay them in rows, or chunk them up, or mash and spread in the bottom--I've done it all three ways. Spread drained corn on top of the tamales. Spoon chili (straight from the can, you don't have to heat it up) on top and smooth over the corn. Top with shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes, until heated through and cheese is bubbly and browning on the edges.


You can make this with canned, frozen, and or fresh tamales; I've used all three (Fresh is best, but I don't always have access to fresh made hot tamales, but when I do, I try to buy extra and freeze them!)

You can cook this in the microwave--the cheese doesn't brown on the top, but it's still good. (I've done this when the weather was hot and I didn't want to heat the kitchen up any more than it was already)

You can double or even triple this to pot-luck dinners, just allow extra cooking time to be sure it's heated all the way through.

You can use different kinds of cheese--I've used cheddar, American, monterrey jack, and taco or Mexican blend cheese.

Basically I don't think you can mess up this up! I hope your family enjoys this as much as mine does!

Good cooking, and good eating!