Monday, 4 July 2011

Happy 4th of Juy!

One of the best things about having a varied family is the larger than normal pool of holidays to choose from.  Independence Day was always lots of fun no matter where we were living.  My Mom and Grandma cooked great food, and even if we were still at school, the evening was always fun.  The only difficult part is that for two thirds of my life I have lived in the southern hemisphere and July is the middle of winter!  So the traditional BBQ or picnic never really cut it.  So one of my favourite 4th of July traditions is to cook Tamale Pie.  Not one of my Mom's favourite dishes, but I love it and it is my tradition!

It is not a Mexican dish, except that it has jalapenos in it.  Here is my version of Tamale Pie.
500g mince beef
1 onion
1 bell pepper / capsicum (colour of your choice)
jalapenos to taste
2 tsp of hot chili powder (adjust to taste, but change cumin to match)
2 tsp of cumin
pinch of salt
2 tins of tomatoes
1 tin of kidney beans, drained
120g of sliced black olives (some people also add frozen corn)
a few handfuls of grated cheddar cheese
1 batch of corn bread batter

Brown mince, onion and peppers in a saucepan.  Add the spices and heat through a bit more.  Stir in the tomatoes, beans and olives and simmer while you make your cornbread batter.

Spread the chili mix into a casserole dish, sprinkle with a few handfuls of grated cheese and top with the corn bread batter.  Bake uncovered until the corn bread is golden, about 15 min.

It smells and tastes great.  Is easy on the pocket and quick to prepare.  But best of all it is comfort food at it's best.

Even though I worked today, I had a wonderful holiday.  I came home to a living room decorated with flags and a case of root beer.  Don't know how The LOML managed to pull it off, but he did.  Then the kids and I cooked Tamale Pie together.  We laughed and chatted and The Princess was beaming with delight over her bronze medal for Cross Country that she won today.  Whatever you may be doing today, I hope that your day is as good as mine was. 

Happy 4th of July!
Chipper

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Thanks for taking the time to brighten my day :-)
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