Skillet Tamales

1C cornmeal (fine or medium grind)
1 1/2 C hot water, or more as needed
salt
2 Tbl olive oil, or more if needed
8 ounces ground beef, pork, or lamb (we used lamb)
black pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbl minced garlic
1 Tbl chili powder
8 Roma tomatoes, chopped (canned are fine; drain their juice)
3 C corn (I would use only 2 next time)
1/2 tsp baking powder

1. Heat the oven to 400F.  Combine the cornmeal, hot water, and a large pinch of salt; stir with a fork until smooth.  Let it sit while you prepare the filing.

2. Put the oil in a deep, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  When it is hot, add the meat, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned, 5 to 20 minutes.  Lower the heat a bit, add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes more; add more oil if the mixture starts to look too dry.  Stir in the chili powder, tomatoes, and corn and turn off the heat.

3. Stir the baking powder into the cornmeal mixture until it's completely incorporated.  The mxture should be the consistency of thick pancake batter; if not, add a little more water.  Spoon the batter into the skillet on top of the filing and spread it around.  Bake until the cornbread has cracked and turned golden and is cooked all the way through 20-25 minutes/  Garnish with cilantro and serve hot or room temperature.

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