For my 1940’s recipe, I decided to update a popular dish called “cornbread casserole”. Now my mother never made this for me while growing up, but apparently it is quite popular here in the States. I found this 1940’s recipe for US Tamale Pie and decided it sounded quite delish. After testing it I realized I was correct, it is really yummy! The best part is, if you have a stove top to oven skillet, you only need to dirty one pan! The casserole came out a bit denser than I had imagined.
I was thinking it would be mainly cornbread with a few pieces of veggies and sausage, but it ended up being more like a frittata, only instead of eggs keeping everything together, it was cornbread. Of course it might have been different if I cooked it in one large pan instead of four smaller ones. Either way, the taste is a little sweet, a little spicy, and the whole thing is quite filling. I served it with a side of tropical slaw.
3 Tbsp olive oil
2/3 pound turkey chorizo or ground turkey. You can also substitute veggie chorizo
1 14.5 oz can diced & fire roasted tomatoes with green chiles
1 15oz can whole kernel or creamed corn
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 1/3 cups cornmeal
1 1/3 cup milk (I used soymilk)
Preheat your oven to 350.
Cook your chorizo in a large pan over medium heat. Use the olive oil to keep your meat from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Make sure to create small crumbles with your spatula as you cook the meat.
After the chorizo is cooked, add the tomatoes and corn to the pan with the chorizo still in it. I used whole kernel corn that I quickly blended to create a smoother texture, but you could also used creamed corn. If you can’t find fire roasted tomatoes, just use regular canned tomatoes; I just like the extra flavor. Stir to combine and then add the chili and cumin. Let the mixture cook while you are mixing your next ingredients.
In a bowl, combine the cornmeal, milk, and eggs. Mix well and then pour the whole thing into the vegetables and sausage. The mixture should be pretty loose. Cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep anything from sticking to the bottom. I used a nonstick pan and had no problems.
Pour everything into a casserole dish and let bake in the over for 30 minutes. If you have a large cast iron skillet, you can make the whole thing in it and then place directly into the over. I decided to divide the mixture into four parts and cook in my little cast iron skillets, mainly because I thought it would look cool in the photos.