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Good old tamale pie ... this time with an open face.

It's not pretentious, but tamale pie fills the bill when something good and simple (even make-ahead) is in order. Add a green salad or cole slaw, and dinner is ready.

Open-faced Tamale Pie 1 medium-size onion, chopped 1 large can (7 oz.) diced green chilies 2 tablespoons salad il 1-1/2 pounds ground lean beef 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 cup bottled mild green or red taco sauce 3 cups (3/4 lb.) shredded cheddar cheese Cornmeal crust (recipe follows) 1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced Condiments (suggestions follow)

In a 10- to 12-inch fryng pan over medium heat, cook onion and chilies in oil, stirring occasionally, until onion is lim--about 15 minutes. Set mixture aside.

In the same pan over high heat, brown meat with chili powder, breaking up with a spoon until meat is browned, about 10 minutes. Skim off and discard fat. Stir in onion mixture, half the taco sauce, and half the cheese: spoon into crust. If made ahead, cover and chill overnight.

Bake uncovered, in a 350[deg.] oven until hot in center, about 30 minutes (about 40 minutes if chilled). Top with remaining cheese; bake until cheese melts, about 5 minutes longer. garnish with avocado and, if desired, with some of the condiments. Spoon out servings and pass taco sauce and condiments to add individually. Serves 6.

Cornmeal crust. In a 3- to 4-quart pan, combine 1-1/2 cups yellow cornmeal, 3-1/2 cups water, 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne. Bring to a boil, stirring, and cook until mixture is thick enough to leave a path for 2 seconds when spoon is drawn through it, 8 to 9 minutes. Spread mixture evenly over bottom and 1 inch up sides of a shallow, ungreased 3-quart casserole.

Condiments. Offer in separate bowls: 1 large firm ripe tomato, seeded and chopped; 1 cup sour cream; and about 1 cup fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves.
COPYRIGHT 1985 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:May 1, 1985
Words:325
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