Tag Archives: cornmeal

Chicken Tamale Pie


How do you make a pot of chili even more comforting? Top it with cornbread then bake it until bubbling! This recipe, from Food 52, does just that, turning a warm and spicy stew into a one dish casserole that is sure to please everyone. And unlike many chilies, it doesn’t require long hours of slow cooking. The entire dish is actually quite simple with chicken, beans and corn simmering along with spices in a tomato broth. I’ve used all black beans in my version but you can use different beans or even a combination of beans. Use whatever you like or have on hand. The cornmeal topping is essentially polenta and this simple topping makes the dish feel like a complete meal.

This is so good and so satisfying. And as I discovered, it tastes even better when reheated the next day for lunch. You might even want to double the recipe!


For the filling:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can sweet corn, drained

1 4-ounce can green chilies

1 12-ounce can diced tomatoes

For the topping:3/4 cup yellow cornmeal1/2 teaspoon saltcups watertablespoon unsalted butter

  • Preheat the oven to 375.
  • In a large heavy skillet set over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until it shimmers.
  • Add the cubed chicken, garlic, coriander, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon chili powder. Cook until chicken is browned on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  • Add chopped onion to the pot and cook down until soft and fragrant.
  • Add beans, corn, chilies, and tomatoes.
  • Bring mix to a boil and allow to cook and thicken. After the mixture has thickened, stir in the chicken and cook until heated through.
  • Remove chili from heat.
  • In a small pot, heat water and salt over medium high heat to almost boiling.
  • Stir in the cornmeal and continue whisking while it incorporates the water and thickens, about 5 minutes.
  • When it is thick, add the butter and mix in to melt. Remove from heat.
  • Pour the chili into a deep casserole dish then spread the cornmeal mixture evenly over the top.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is firm and slightly browned.
  •  Allow to cool briefly, and then scoop into bowls to serve.

 Serves 6


Jalapeno-Cheddar Cornbread


I love cornbread and this spicy version doesn’t disappoint. It is slightly sweet without being too much so and the addition of jalapenos and Cheddar cheese adds complexity and makes it decidedly more sophisticated than your ordinary cornbread. It makes a tasty accompaniment to a spicy bowl of chili or corn and vegetable chowder  and in warmer weather a chilled gazpacho turning your soup into a full fledged meal. And since I prefer savory to sweet when it comes to breakfast I love eating a piece of this toasted and topped with a dab of butter. Now that is good.


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1/3 cup canola oil

1/4 cup sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup buttermilk

3/4 cup Greek yogurt

3/4 cup sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

1 4-ounce can minced jalapeno peppers

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 12 inch cast iron skillet. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a separate medium sized bowl whisk together the butter, canola oil, sugar and eggs until a thick slurry forms.
  • Add in the buttermilk and yogurt and whisk until combined.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and using a rubber spatula, stir until just combined.
  • Fold in the jalapeno peppers and Cheddar cheese.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared skillet and bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the top of the bread is golden brown.
  • Let cool on a wire rack before slicing into wedges. The cornbread can be served either warm or at room temperature.

Serves 12



Creamy Shrimp Creole Soup w/ Bacon Cornmeal Dumplings

photo 2-13

It is Fast Friday again and time for another fast and fabulous dinner suggestion. If you are anything like me, by the time Friday rolls around the last thing you want to do to cook a big meal yet we all still have to eat.  The dishes featured in this series aren’t necessarily fancy but they bring together simple ingredients most people already have in their pantries or have easy access to and allow you to put a real meal on the table in between 30 and 45 minutes.  Enjoy and if you have your own fast recipes you want to share, please send them my way and I will in turn share them with all of my readers.

This is another fabulous recipe courtesy of The Noble Pig.   Shrimp is my favorite seafood and I love it when it is paired with tomatoes and the tummy warming flavors of Tabasco sauce and cayenne pepper.  I like my food spicy but feel free to reduce the amounts of both seasonings if you want a more mild flavor.  While the list of ingredients is long, the soup comes together quickly.  You can chop your vegetables while the bacon cooks then make the dumplings while the soup cooks.  Try it and love it tonight.


For the soup:

3/4 pound raw large shrimp, deveined and tails removed

4 slices thick cut bacon, diced

1 1/2 cups celery, diced

1 cup yellow onion, diced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1/3 cup all purpose flour

3 1/4 cups chicken stock

3/4 cup original flavor V-8 juice

1- 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup scallions, minced

  • Cook the chopped bacon in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp.  Remove half of the chopped bacon from the pan and 1 tablespoon of the drippings (keep separate), reserve this for the dumplings.
  • Add the celery and onion to the remaining bacon and drippings and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds more.  Whisk in the flour and cook until incorporated, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in the stock, V-8, tomatoes, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, thyme, sugar, cayenne pepper, and the bay leaf.
  • Bring to a boil and cover.  Reduce the heat to allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes while it thickens.
  • Add the heavy cream once the soup has simmered for 15 minutes.

For the dumplings:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup finely chopped green onions

1/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup buttermilk

  • Combine the flour, green onions, cornmeal, and baking soda in a small bowl.
  • Cut the butter into the flour mixture with two knives until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
  • Add the reserved bacon and drippings and the buttermilk stirring until a moist dough forms.
  • Gently divide the mixture into 12 equal portions.
  • After the soup has simmered for 15 minutes, drop the dumplings, 1 at a time, into the pot.
  • Cover and cook for 8 minutes, carefully turning the dumplings after four minutes.
  • Add the shrimp and cook for three more minute or until the shrimp are opaque in color.
  • Garnish each bowl with parsley and scallions.

Serves 6

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