I keep adding more Mexican dishes to my everyday recipe collection. Most people are surprised to hear that I don’t cook Mexican food. I didn’t grow up with it. Argentina is thousands of miles away from Mexico. The U.S. is right next door. I bet you never thought of it like that before. Every Hispanic country has their own foods and ways to prepare them. Argentina does not have much in the way of Mexican foods or restaurants. When I taught high school, my students were always amazed hearing that I ate my first taco at 19 years old. I think I got it from a Taco Bell. I found that burritos were more of my taste and I would indulge in them often but only from Taco Bell. I didn’t know how to eat a tamale. I wasn’t sure what to do with the corn husk. It wasn’t until my neighbor, from across the street, who brought me a dozen for Christmas one year, that I got the courage to ask how to cook and eat them. They are not my favorite but I do enjoy going to a Mexican restaurant now that I have experimented a little more and find the food delicious. Nothing spicy for me, though.
So, back to this recipe. I find that Mexican food is so flexible and many ingredients interchangeable, making it ideal for those people who are watching their calories and their macro-nutrients. This tamale pie is easy and you can add or take off anything to make it work for your palate or caloric intake. We eat this one pretty often. One of these days, I’m going to make the cream-style corn and the green salsa from scratch. For now, I’m going the fast and easy route. Hope you like it.
1/2 cup Cornmeal
1 – 14 3/4 oz. can of Cream-Style Corn
1 lb. Cooked Chicken, shredded (See note below.)
1 – 16 oz. jar mild or medium Green Salsa
1/3 cup Black Olives, sliced or chopped
1/3 cup low-fat Mexican-blend shredded Cheese
1 Tomato, sliced (optional)
Cilantro, Green Onions, Chili Powder, Avocado slices, Sour Cream or Yogurt to your liking
NOTE: The cooked chicken needed is about 3 cups of shredded meat. You can use a rotisserie chicken from the store. I often will make boneless, skinless chicken breasts the night before. I put a few extra on and save 3 for this recipe. The other thing you might try is making Chicken Broth and using some of the meat here.
In a large saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups Water to a boil. Add the Cornmeal slowly, whisking continually. Once it’s all incorporated, reduce heat to medium and continue to whisk for 3 minutes.
Add the can of Corn and return to boil. Then, reduce heat to medium-low, stirring so it doesn’t scorch for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, set the oven to 400 degrees.
In an 8 x 8 or 2 quart baking dish, mix the Chicken, Salsa and Olives.
Spoon the Cornmeal over the Chicken.
Bake uncovered for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle the Cheese over the Cornmeal and continue cooking 10 -15 more minutes until it’s bubbling hot.
Pull it out of the oven and add any topping you would like.
Serves 4 at 407 Calories, 33.3 grams Carbs, 12.1 grams Fat, 38 grams Protein a serving. (Without adding optional garnishes and tomatoes.)