Tag Archives: Pacific Northwest

Gluten Free Tamale Pie – on the grill

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Gluten Free "Tamale Pie"

It is not nearly as hot here in the Pacific Northwest as it is where my family is (Chicago & Minnesota).  You guys have certainly had the heat wave.    We are still wearing our October gear in the mornings.  However, yesterday it was 85F.  (I know, still not hot comparatively, but come on… that’s a 20 degree jump for us!)

We took full advantage of the day:  playground in the morning, walk after lunch, bubbles/sidewalk chalk, building a fort, soccer outside, etc.  By the time dinner-cooking-hour rolled around, I was hot.  And so was the house.  We don’t have air conditioning and the warmest time of day here is late afternoon.

At 3:30PM, the house was almost 80F.  The thought of heating up the house further to cook (as the temperature was still rising) was NOT appealing to me at all.  I had planned to make a tamale pie with whatever veggies + ground beef that were in the fridge.  I knew this meant browning the beef, sauteing veggies and what not on the stove top and then finishing in the oven.  Oh.  NO.  Wasn’t happening.

So I cracked out the cast iron skillet and headed outside to the grill.  Beyond making the tamale dough topping, the rest of this was prepared on the grill.  I honestly didn’t plan to give a “recipe” today.  I totally winged this – but I think some of you might find the idea functional for you HOT house as well.

Forgive the lack of perfect measurements, I didn’t measure anything – so they are all guesstimates.

Nice, huh?  What a food blogger am I.

Oh well.  Here goes nothing!

Gluten free tamale pie - before "baking" it on the grill

 

You can see my fancy topping here – precooked.  Lovely, huh?

Tamale Pie on the Grill

NOTE:  Make sure you have enough gas (if using a gas grill) to have your burners on for 30-40 minutes on medium-high (or enough to maintain an internal temperature of 350F +)

TAMALE TOPPING (Prepare inside with you mixer)

Ingredients:
1 1/ cups masa harina, rehydrated according to package instructions
1/3 cup of butter, cut into pats
1/2 cup chicken broth (or water + gluten free chicken bouillon) or MORE
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
granulated garlic to taste (1/2-1 1/2 teaspoons)

Directions:

Put your rehydrated masa dough into the mixer.  Add the chicken broth, baking powder, salt, some granulated garlic and half of your butter pats.  Mix thoroughly on low.  Increase speed to medium after broth has been well incorporated.  Add the remaining pats of butter until well incorporated.  Beat on medium.  The dough texture should be coming up the sides of your mixer and not dense on the bottom or in a ball.  It is not super light – but should be very pliable.  If not, add a bit more broth – tablespoon by tablespoon – until your get rid of the ball stage.  Set aside.

TAMALE PIE – Meat + veggie bottom

Ingredients:

1 pound ground meat of choice (I used beef)
1/2 cup minced onion
4 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 small can green chilis
2 whole tomatoes, diced
2/3 cup (or more??) frozen corn kernels (or fresh, if you’ve got them!)
1 Tablespoon + cumin
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
salt/pepper to season to taste

Directions:  (written for those cooking on a gas grill)

  1. Put your cast iron skillet on your preheated grill.  Heat thoroughly.  Add a tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Dump in diced hard veggies (onions, carrots).  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add diced peppers and tomato.  Cook again another 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic – cook until aromatic (1 – 2 minutes)
  3. Add ground meat.  Brown.
  4. Taste.  Add green chilis, frozen corn, cumin, chili powder and salt/pepper.
  5. Bring to a simmer.  Taste again.  Adjust seasoning to desired.  (NOTE:  If it is mild now, it will be SUPER mild later – so really taste/adjust now.)
  6. Once you’ve reached your flavor, top with the reserved tamale dough.  (I used my fingers to make a flat piece (much like working with play-dough) about 1/3-1/2 inch thick.  Cover the pan to the best of your ability.  I purposefully leave the edges open to allow me to see/check the base and the topping.
  7. Put your cast iron skillet on the “cool side” but still over some heat.  Our grill has 4 burners.  I turned the right two burners to high and the far left one to the off position.  The second one I had on medium.

GRILL BURNERS
ONE (off)           TWO (medium)           THREE (high)           FOUR (high)
Position pan over burner #2

8.”Bake” with your grill closed until the tamale pie topping is cooked through (about 30 minutes or more, depending on the temperature of your grill/outside).  You can check the dough by poking it (I know… but hey – I was only cooking for me).  If the center is dry/cakey/tamale like, you are good.  If there are any wet/doughy parts, keep it on the grill longer.

Serve with:  cucumber, avocado, shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa, shredded cheese, fresh diced tomatoes, black olives, whatever….

GRILL BURNERS
ONE (off)           TWO (medium)           THREE (high)           FOUR (high)
Position pan over burner #2

Gluten Free "Tamale Pie" - made on the grill!