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Tamale Pie

1 lb. lean ground beef
2 tsp plus 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 medium green or red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, and diced
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 (14-oz.) can crushed tomatoes, with juice
1 (15-oz.) can corn, with juice
1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (4-oz.) can diced green chiles, with juice
1/2 tsp salt plus to taste
black pepper
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1-1/4 cups milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar or Monterrey Jack cheese

1. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray, and set over medium-high heat. Add ground beef, and cook, stirring to break into small crumbles, for about 6 minutes or until browned. Using a slotted spoon, remove beef from the skillet, and drain off excess fat.

2. Return the skillet to heat, and add 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Add onion and bell pepper, and sauté for about 3 minutes or until softened. Return beef to the skillet, and add chili powder and cumin. Stir in crushed tomatoes with juice, corn, black beans, and green chiles with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Cool completely.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add milk, remaining 1/4 cup oil, and beaten eggs, and stir until all dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in shredded cheese.

4. Spray 4 (5x7-inch) or 2 (8-inch) square or round baking pans with cooking spray. Divide meat mixture between the prepared pans. Top with cornmeal mixture and use a rubber spatula to smooth out the top. Cover with foil, label, and freeze.

To bake after freezing: Bake frozen in a 375° oven for about 1 hour, 15 minutes or until top is puffed and brown and filling is heated through.

Yields: 4 (5x7-inch) pans
Serving size: 1/3 pan
Servings: 12
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 1:15 hours

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Easy Freezer Meals
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Gillian Gunson