Tamale Casserole

Casseroles are an efficient way to cook for 6 people and often give us leftovers for lunch the next day.  Earlier in the mission, I wanted to steam tamales for the crew, but a lack of power and time required a different solution.  I invented the tamale casserole to have a taste of warm tamale dough in large portions and quick prep time.  It’s been one of our favorite meals during the mission.

Tamale Casserole
6-8 servings

Tamale Base:
3 cups corn flour / masa harina
2 ¼ tsp baking powde
¾ cup ghee or shortening
2 ¼ cup chicken broth (made from buillion)
1 ½ tsp salt
Cumin powder
Chili powder
red pepper flakes
black pepper
Optional – Worchester sauce, balsamic vinegar

½ cup dehydrated tomato flakes
½ cup dehydrated zucchini chunks
¼ cup dehydrated corn
1-2 cups of dehydrated chicken cubes
1-2 cups of dehydrated cheese
Optional – cooked rice

Rehydrate meat and vegetables in bowl(s) of hot water.  Meat and vegetables can be rehydrated in one bowl to save water when washing dishes.

Rehydrate cheese in its own bowl of room temperature water.

After draining, spice meat with cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  If umami flavor is missing, add a very small amount of Worchester sauce or balsamic vinegar.

Mix the baking powder into the corn flour well.  Add salt (and other spices if desired).   Cut in the shortening.  Add the chicken broth slowly and mix well until a loose paste is formed.  Spread your tamale paste into the bottom of a 13 x 9 casserole dish and pat flat with your fingers.

Cover tamale base with a layer of vegetables and meat.

Cover meat layer with cheese.

Cover casserole dish with aluminum foil.  Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an addition 5-10 minutes until cheese is browned.

Serve straight out of the dish with hot sauce, rehydrated sour cream, and canned jalapeños on the side.  Substitute other ingredients in the middle layer for a different taste like ground beef or canned green chiles.


Tamale Casserole
Tamale casserole with corn chips and cheese on the top layer

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