Easy Polenta Tamale Pie
Tamale pie has always been a family favorite. Now, using slices of prepared polenta, it is quick and easy to prepare. Even my 18 month old grandson LOVES it!!!
2# ground beef (can also use ground turkey)
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 T. chili powder
1-2 T. cumin
1 or 2 jars of salsa (we like spicy, but use your favorite)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 - 1# rolls of prepared polenta, sliced 1/2" thick
3 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese.
Optional: Chopped red or orange bell peppers.
As with most of my recipes, I don't measure, just "eyeball" it. Vary the ingredients and the amounts you use according to your family's preference.
Sauté ground beef or turkey. Drain in a colander and rinse to seriously remove as much fat as possible.
In the same pan you used for the meat, sauté the onions and corn, and peppers, if you are using them, until tender but not soft. You don't want to overcook the veggies!
Add the meat back to the pan and add spices, salsa, and black beans. Simmer on medium low for about 10 minutes to marry the flavors. Add the chopped cilantro.
Grease or spray pam into a large (at least 2" deep) casserole dish.
Cover the bottom of the pan with the polenta slices, cutting a few into smaller pieces to fill in the gaps between the rounds.
Cover the polenta slices with about half the grated cheese.
Pour the entire mixture of meat, veggies and sauce over the polenta.
Top with the remaining slices of polenta, again filling in the gaps between the polenta rounds.
Top polenta layer with remaining grated cheddar cheese.