Tamale Pie

One of Joey Altman’s two new dishes for next week is a Chicken Green Chile Tamale Pie.  I had never had tamale pie before, and so I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  A bunch of tamales shaped like a pie?  A pie with a tamale on top?  The film American Pie with a tamale on it?  The only thing I was sure of was that there would definitely be a tamale somewhere.  But I was wrong.

As it turns out, tamales and tamale pie are more similar in name than anything else.  While tamales are usually wrapped in plantains or corn and steamed, tamale pie is more like a cornmeal casserole that’s baked in a cast iron skillet.  Imagine a bold and spicy chili wearing a crispy cornbread hat, and you’ve got the idea. If you’re Irish and need an even more relevant analogy, it’s like a cornbread version of shepherd’s pie.

Tamale pie is considered to be primarily an American invention, although its true origins are unknown.  Around the beginning of the twentieth century meat pies with cornmeal crusts and typical tamale fillings began to be known as tamale pies.  Some say it originated in California as a riff on classic Mexican tamales, while others say it was a product of the period of forced creativity during WWII caused by ingredient scarcity.  The important thing isn’t where it came from, though.  What’s most important is that it got here. And where it’s going, which, if you’re lucky, is your mouth.

Ready to try Joey’s version of this storied dish? He set some aside just for you, but you better grab it quick. They’re going like hotcakes…er…pies.

Bye Bye Miss Tamale Pie

Bye Bye Miss Tamale Pie

We're listening:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s