This Skinny Tamale pie is my version of my Grandmother’s famous recipe from the 1950s. Everything you expect with half the calories. Enjoy it with a salad and a glass of ice-cold beer.
You may remember that when I visited my cousin in South Carolina, part of the reason I did that was to get some of my grandmother’s recipes. I made both her Lemon Jello Cake and her tamale pie when I was there.
The tamale pie was just like when my grandmother would make it, delicious, but I thought it a little heavy and fatty. My Nana had her tall husband, Warren Boswell, her sons, Warren Jr., Hamilton, Charles, and Robert, and her daughter, Georgia. That’s a lot of people and all of them were tall, strong, and worked hard. My grandmother co-owned several pharmacies, my grandfather was an inventor and had a fleet of waste management trucks. Her children were also entrepreneurs, a minister, a principal, a nurse, and a US Army major.
Skinny Tamale Pie – Boswell Style
Looking at the original recipe, it called for two pounds of ground beef and half a pound of sausage. The original recipe comes in at a whopping 568 calories and 35 grams of fat. It was a big family, but that’s still a lot of fat. When I got home from our trip, I filed the recipe away to look at again. Then, I had some health concerns and my doctor told me I needed to limit my fat intake. I still wanted to make Nana’s tamale pie, but I had to skinny it down – without losing flavor.
I saw a jar of Ham Base from the Better Than Bullion people and decided to try it. It gives the flavor of ham, but not the fat. I knew this was the answer to my tamale pie dilemma. If you can’t find Ham Base at your market, of course, it’s available on Amazon. My Skinny Tamale Pie comes in at 212 calories with only 7 grams of fat. I would say that’s a big improvement, right?
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ green pepper, chopped
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ teaspoon ham base
- ½ 10 oz can corn
- 1 10 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 5 oz can pitted olives
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 cups cornmeal
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 10 oz can diced tomatoes
- ½ cup cheddar, grated
- Mise en place
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 green pepper, 1/2 onion, 1 cloves garlicSaute onion, garlic and pepper in fat until the onions are translucent.
- 1 pound ground beef, 1/2 teaspoon ham baseAdd meat and ham base and cook until meat is thoroughly cooked.
- 1/2 10 oz can corn, 1 10 oz can tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin seedsAdd corn, tomato sauce, chili powder and cumin seeds.
- 1 cups cornmeal, 1 cup hot waterPour boiling water over cornmeal and mix thoroughly.
- 1 5 oz can pitted olives, 1 10 oz can diced tomatoesAdd to meat mixture along with olives and diced tomatoes.
- Lightly grease a casserole dish.
- 1/2 cup cheddarPour into casserole and top with cheese.
- Bake at 350 F/ 176 C for about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
- Serve with a big salad. Enjoy