There is this Mexican restaurant my friend Dan took me to in Phoenix and the first time he told me to get the Green Corn Tamale’s with baja sauce which was his wife’s favorite. Wow – were they good. It was my first experience with tamales and I loved them. In fact, he and other friends in Phoenix have taken me back to Macayo’s several times and I have gotten the same thing every time. Hey, give me a break, I don’t get to Phoenix often and you can’t get tamale’s like that in Minnesota.
I just love the masa and corn flavor, so when I saw this recipe for Carnitas Tamale Pie on Pinch of Yum, I thought that I might as well give it a try. They don’t really remind me of Macayo’s tamales except for the yummy sweet corn base that does give you a hint of a tamale.
I adapted the recipe a little bit and made it with green chili enchilada sauce instead of red because I’m a huge fan of the green chili flavor. I just love the sweet corn-bready base, the yummy carnitas, the green chilie and of course it has to be smothered in cheese too.
Although there are a lot of ingredients in this next picture, it really is relatively simple to make and an awesome way to re-invent leftover Slow Cooker Carnitas.
Start by mixing together your dry ingredients which are flour, yellow corn meal, sugar, baking powder and a little salt.
Next add a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil and whisk until crumbly.
Whisk in some milk and an egg. I like to start by breaking the yolk and whisking the egg slightly then really whisking it all together.
Finally stir in the cream corn and some diced green chilies.
Pour the mixture into a greased 11×7 pan – the pan size can vary a little and while result in thinner and crunchier or thicker and moister base.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 min.
Now poke some holes, or in my case slices because I stuck a butter knife in several times, into the base. Pour on a cup of the green chili enchilada sauce. The whole are going to let the sauce seep into the corn base.
Top with 2-3 cups of leftover carnitas, really as thick of a layer as you want. And then drizzle on another half cup or so of enchilada sauce.
Finally top with a cup of white cheese – you could use mozzarella, Monterrey jack, cheddar, or something more Mexican like Oaxaca.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes covered. Uncover and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese begins to brown.
Serve as squares on plates or scoop into a bowl and top with cilantro.
I later topped with a nice helping of roughly chopped cilantro after I took the picture, but it was so good I didn’t want to stop and take a picture, or re-plate it and take another picture. So I kept on eating and just decided to convey how good the extra cilantro is on this!
- ⅔ c flour
- ½ c yellow corn meal
- 3 T sugar
- 1 T baking powder
- ¼ t salt
- 2 T vegetable oil
- ⅓ c milk
- 1 egg
- 1 can diced green chilies
- 1 can cream corn
- 2-3 c carnitas
- 1 ½ c green chili enchilada sauce
- 1 c white shredded cheese such as Monterrey jack, mozzarella, cheddar or Oaxaca
- Cilantro for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 11x7 pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Add vegetable oil and whisk until crumbly.
- Whisk in milk and egg.
- Stir in diced green chilis (undrained) and cream corn.
- Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes until the edges are lightly golden and the center is set.
- Reduce oven to 350 degrees.
- Poke holes in the cornbread base with a butter knife.
- Pour over a cup of the enchilada sauce.
- Top evenly with carnitas.
- Drizzle on the remaining half cup of enchilada sauce.
- Top with cheese.
- Bake covered for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5-10 minutes.
- Serve with cilantro on top.