Truth May Vary

Tamale Pie

So far September has been the lost month, filled to the brim with so many activities that I’ve lost total track of time.  Everything this month seems to be coming in pairs: two birthdays, two weddings, and two big decisions to make.  Needless to say I’m looking forward to October when this will all be behind me and I can start enjoying fall.  I am already plotting out my soup recipes and have so many different combinations that I’m looking forward to testing out.  I see squash, black beans, tomatoes, and spuds of all varieties in my future and I’m looking forward to every last one of them.

This recipe is one of my go-to-recipes once the temperature starts to drop.  While it can also be prepared in a slow cooker, there is something about using a cast iron skillet that adds a little something.  I haven’t been cooking with cast iron very often, but luckily my cast iron skillet came with a Cast Iron Cooking for Dummies.  I might not be the best when it comes to cast iron cooking, but with this book I’ve been able to correct most of my issues.    This tamale pie recipe was one of the first I tested out in the skillet, after the standard cornbread recipes.  The first attempt didn’t work very well, but since then I’ve figured out the right ratio of cornbread to fillings so lot more eating lot less turning off the smoke alarm.

Truly Scrumptious

Serves: 4-5 servings


2 cups pre-soaked black beans

1/2 vidalia onion, diced

1/2 cup corn off the cob

1 can rotel tomatoes

1 jalapeno, diced (optional)

1 green bell pepper, diced

1/2 tbsp chile powder

1/2 tsp cayenne powder (optional)

1/2 cup favorite salsa

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup corn meal

1/4 cup white sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

2 tbsp vegetable oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Mix all the ingredients from the beans to the salsa in a 12in cast iron skillet. Cook for 10minutes then remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile stir together the flour, baking powder, egg, milk, and vegetable oil until ingredients are just mixed - be sure to not over stir! Pour over the vegetables in the skillet. Bake for 30minutes, or until golden. Optional: top with shredded Mexican cheese in last 5minutes of baking.

Feel free to top with sour cream, guacamole, or more salsa!  Instead of salsa enchilada sauce can also be used, or a fajita marinade.  The trick is making sure there is enough liquid to keep the vegetables from sticking but not so much that it keeps the cornbread from crisping up.  With my skillet the golden amount is just below the top of the vegetable/bean mixture, but I’m sure different skillets will have different results.