I LOVE tamales, but they can be a pain in the butt to make, and ever look to buy them at the super market? They're like 8 bucks for 8 tiny tamales! Oh, yes, it's true!! My recipe makes 12 tamale pie wedges for under 5 bucks! All packaged up in a cute little pie wedge! Plus, there is plenty more masa left over for other future recipes. See! Deliciouis, AND economical!
I made these with pork chirizo this time, but I think I will try a vegetarian variation, or do a playful spin on the chile rellanos and see how that goes! Have fun, and experiment with different fillings! The masa feels like Play-dough in your hands, so it's really easy to mold. A great little project to do with the kids; they'll love molding the masa!
4 cups of prepared masa (may use masa flour, and prepare as directed on package)
1/2 pound of pork chirizo (or, beef)
1 cup of Mexican crema (may substitute Philadelphia cooking cream)
1 cup of Mexican cheese blend (shredded)
Non-stick cooking spray
You favorite salsa verde, or green chili for dipping
Cast Iron Cornbread Wedge Skillet
Masa can be found in Latin markets, or in the supermarket, you will find masa flour near the All purpose flour. If you buy masa flour, just prepare it according the manufacturers directions. It's pretty easy- usually adding water, or broth.
Also, pork chirizo goes quite nicely with this recipe, so you may choose to fill with just crema, or cheese and perhaps some chopped roasted jalapenos? That sounds great, actually!!
Prepare your chirizo first by browning it in a skillet on medium high heat. Set aside.
Prepare your wedge skillet by spraying with your desired cooking spray.
Grab a couple tablespoons of masa, about the size of a golf ball (it will feel like Play-dough in your hands, and it's very easy to mold) Press into the wedge skillet to about 1/8 inch thickness on the bottom and sides.
Once you have all the wedges prepared, spread a couple tablespoons of crema in the bottom of each wedge.
Fill each wedeg with the cooked chirizo.
Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of shredded cheese on top of chirizo.
Roll out about a tablsespoon of masa into a triangle wedge. If it sticks to your work surface, simple slide a knife, or spatula to lift off. It will come off very easily.
Press the triangle masa wedge on the top of each skillet wedge, pressing into the parameter of the wedges to seal each wedge, so it's airtight. you may lightly press on the top of each sealed wedge to make sure there are no air bubbles.
Bake in a 300 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Checkm on the pie wedges. If you see the masa start to pull away from the sides, remove from the oven and allow to rest.
Wedges will pop right out. If any stick, simply run a butter knife around the sides to loosen.
And, there you have it!! Homemade Tamale Pies, made by your very own hands!!!
Serve with your favorite salsa verde or green chile.