My mother used to make a dish she called Tamale Pie that had a wonderful cornmeal masa topping that was baked on top. I just loved this dish. Well cornmeal is so carb-pricey I just won’t use it anymore. But I tinkered around with my Mom’s old recipe and came up with a tasty low-carb version. This casserole is pretty darn close to the original recipe in flavor. This recipe is not suitable until Phase 2 Atkins since it has baby corn in it.
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14 oz. lean ground beef
3 oz. onion, chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped (or half of a 15-oz can crushed tomatoes,drained)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. dried ancho or guajillo chiles (both are mild), seeded and chopped
2¼-oz, pitted black olives, sliced and drained
6 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
¼ tsp. salt
15 oz. canned baby corn, drained, divided (I use Dynasty brand)
2 large eggs
½ c. almond flour
2 T. flax meal
1 tsp. corn bran (I order from Honeyvillegrains.com)
¼ c. heavy cream
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º. You will need a medium casserole dish for this recipe, but no greasing will be necessary.
For the bottom meat layer: brown meat over med-high heat until it releases its grease. Add onion, garlic, salt, chili powder and crushed ancho chiles. Saute until onion is getting tender. Add tomatoes, olives and half of the baby corn, sliced or chopped coarsely. Saute until tomatoes are getting soft and releasing their juice.
For the “masa” topping: Blend or pulse the remaining half of the baby corn until smooth. Add almond flour, flaxmeal, corn bran, cream and eggs and pulse until a smooth batter.
Pour the bottom meat layer into a ceramic casserole dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the meat layer. Then gently spoon the topping over the meat mixture. Bake at 350º for 20 minutes or until topping is just cooked in the middle (just dry to the touch) but not really browned. Serve with a nice sliced avocado lightly dusted with garlic powder or your favorite guacamole salad.
NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings, each contains:
625 calories, 43.6 g fat, 15.7 g carbs, 6.78 g fiber, 8.92 g NET CARBS, 43 g protein, 1322 mg sodium (mostly from cheese)