Tamale Casserole without the guilt~
Confession. I still crave the food of the 70s. All those calorie laden casseroles, so much cheese, cream, butter, even lard. Yum. Don’t judge. And these old recipes were not about convenience, they were a lot of work. I don’t eat that way now, darn it. Plus who wants to spends even more time in the kitchen? Not me. And I like to cook.
Fortunately you can now find updates on old favorites easily. Take classic Tamale Pie, dicing, simmering, cooking the corn meal until smooth, then baking, probably 1 1/2 hours all together. I have 1 hour tops on a weeknight. I've found versions that use cornbread mix, and chicken, lighter and faster. YAY. Sounds good. Right? Probably half the calories of the original too! Cooking Light had my top version but I still added a couple of tweaks ~
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
15 oz Del Monte can cream corn
4.5 oz Ortega green chiles
1 cup Tillamook Mexican 4 cheese shred
1 egg white
1/3 cup fat free milk
10 oz enchilada sauce
1/4 tsp cayenne ( I like it kinda spicy, you can dial this back if you don’t )
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 of Hope’s most FABulous baked chicken breasts, deboned, skinned and shredded.
3 sliced green onions
Optional, fat free sour cream and John’s FrEsH house made Pico de Gallo which has quite a cult following!
In a medium bowl combine cornbread mix, corn, egg, chiles, milk, 1/2 cup cheese, spices. Mix well. Spray a 13x9 pan with Pam for baking. Pour mix in pan. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven, poke holes all over cornbread, pour enchilada sauce over, top with chicken, cheese and onions. Return to oven for 15 minutes or until completely set.
Serve with pico and sour cream. Rick tops his with Chipotle Tabasco, it adds a nice smokiness.
Have a HaPpY, Healthy, Hometown Cinco de Mayo!