Category Archives: Main Entrees

Tamale Pie

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I don’t know where Tamale Pie comes from, maybe the name represents something that tastes similar to tamales but that’s it. It is a casserole of ground beef, corn, beans, cheese, green peppers and cheese topped with a cornbread batter and baked. Make it and you’re house will smell good.

If you want to cut the fat you can use ground turkey instead of beef. That way you can also skip the step of draining the fat from the meat after it browns.

Be sure to bake until the cornbread is cooked all the way through. Mine took around 50 minutes at 375 degrees, yours could take longer or shorter. Stick a toothpick into the middle to see if it comes out clean, like you do with cake or cupcakes.

Also, excuse the messy presentation in the photo, the hungrier I get the sloppier it looks. Presentation-shmesentation.

Tamale Pie (serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1 15oz. can of beans, drained (I used kidney beans)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used cheddar)
  • 1 box cornbread mix, prepared using instructions on box (usually need eggs, milk, butter etc.)
  • 9 x 13 casserole dish, greased

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet using medium high heat, melt 1 Tbsp. butter. Add green pepper and onions, sauté for 5 minutes, set aside in bowl. Using same skillet, brown ground beef and drain fat. Add peppers and onions back into pan. Add corn, beans, tomato paste, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and salt. Mix well and let simmer for 5 minutes. Turn heat off and gently fold in cheese.
  3. Make cornbread batter according to instructions on package. Spread meat mixture in greased casserole dish, smoothing the top until level. Pour cornbread on top, smoothing until level. Bake until cornbread is completely done, around 50 minutes. Use toothpick to test for doneness. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

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  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet using medium high heat, melt 1 Tbsp. butter.

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Add green pepper and onions, sauté for 5 minutes, set aside in bowl.

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Using same skillet, brown ground beef and drain fat. Add peppers and onions back into pan.

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Add corn, beans, tomato paste, tomato sauce, cumin, chili powder and salt. Mix well and let simmer for 5 minutes.

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Turn heat off and gently fold in cheese.

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Make cornbread batter according to instructions on package.

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Spread meat mixture in greased casserole dish, smoothing the top until level.

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Pour cornbread on top,

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smoothing until level.

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Bake until cornbread is completely done, around 50 minutes. Use toothpick to test for doneness. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Oven Braised Short Ribs

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Ever order that $20+ entrée of braised short rib on top of some root vegetable puree and a grilled or roasted vegetable side? It’s easy to make at home.

I bought a pack of 6 short ribs which were pretty pricey (to me) at around $14. I remember I used to buy a pack of 4 ribs for $4-5 in San Diego. I didn’t buy them for awhile but had a craving for them so decided to splurge.  I also ordered a short rib dish in a fancy Italian restaurant for $29 last month. One (!!) short rib came out on top of mashed potatoes, with a side of roasted asparagus. I don’t think I will ever order that again (the meat was tough and dry), because I knew how easy it was to make at home. I ordered it in case it was so good I wanted to duplicate the recipe at home. Sadly, I didn’t. One of my biggest disappointments is when I order something at a nice restaurant and what comes out is something I could’ve easily made at home, for much less money.

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Short ribs are basically foolproof. Even if you alter some of the ingredients surrounding the short rib, as long as you braise it in the oven for a few hours, the meat is so tender it falls off the bone easily. There is no way to screw it up.

By dredging the ribs in flour and browning in on a pan, you are developing a deeper flavor for the braise. The brown bits on the bottom of the pan (mixture of flour and fat -which gives the flavor) gently lift off when you sauté the onions and carrots. The red wine along with the beef broth also add more depth and flavor. All of these steps add flavor versus dumping everything uncooked into a baking dish. So don’t skip it.

Another important tip – buy ‘bone-in’ short ribs. Bones give more flavor and help thicken the sauce.

Oven Braised Short Ribs (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 6 bone-in short ribs
  • oil for pan frying
  • flour for dredging
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 8 large mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

*if you want a thicker sauce: after ribs are out of the oven, spoon sauce into a pot, heat to boiling, and whisk in a cornstarch+water slurry, a teaspoon at a time until it is thickened to your liking.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Salt and pepper the short ribs, then dredge in flour, coating all sides and shaking off excess flour. Add a tablespoon of oil to a skillet, turn to medium high heat. Sear all sides of the short ribs, turning with tongs, until browned. Set ribs aside in baking dish.
  2. Using same skillet, add garlic, onions, mushrooms and carrots, sauté until onions have softened. Add red wine, cook for 2 minutes. Then add beef broth, worcestershire, brown sugar and bay leaves. Bring to a boil then pour everything into an oven safe baking dish and cover with foil.
  3. Bake for 2.5 hours. Remove bay leaves. Serve ribs on top of egg noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes.

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Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Salt and pepper the short ribs, then dredge in flour, coating all sides and shaking off excess flour. Add a tablespoon of oil to a skillet, turn to medium high heat.

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Sear all sides of the short ribs, turning with tongs, until browned. Set ribs aside in baking dish.

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Using same skillet, add garlic, onions, mushrooms and carrots, sauté until onions have softened.

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Add red wine, cook for 2 minutes.

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Then add beef broth, Worcestershire, brown sugar and bay leaves.

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Bring to a boil,

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then pour everything into an oven safe baking dish,

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and cover with foil.

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Bake for 2.5 hours. Remove bay leaves. Serve ribs on top of egg noodles, rice, or mashed potatoes.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley for color or to trick yourself into thinking it’s healthier because green stuff.

Charge everyone $29 each for this dish. Even better, accept their offer to wash the dishes.

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Enjoy!

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