Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tamale Cups

I just love tamales, but all the recipes I have for them have a ton of shortening, or better yet, lard in them.  Since I can't really eat that often in good conscience, I wracked my brains trying to find something healthier.  Here's what I finally tried...

Tamale Cups

For the shells:
3 c water
¼ tea salt
1 c corn grits (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
Or use your favorite grits and make 4 portions.

1 ½ c of your favorite chili - I used the Pork Chile Verde with Posole posted previously
Approx 2/3 c grated cheddar cheese (I used Cabot 50% Cheddar)

Follow the package cooking instructions to cook the grits, then cover and set aside to cool slightly.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly oil 2 muffin tins.  Spread the grits evenly in the muffin tins to create the crust, approx 1/3” thick along the sides and bottom of the cup.  Add chili in the center of each cup to fill even with the top of the crust.  Sprinkle with as much cheese as you like 1 tea to 1 tbsp for each cup.  Pop into the oven for 20 minutes or until nicely browned.  Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.  If you don’t let them cool, you’ll never get them out of the cups.  After 10 minutes take a small sharp knife & run it around the edge of each cup to loosen.  Serve 1 or 2 per person with salsa & cervezas on the side.  Makes 11 or 12 cups.

Aren't they cute?  You could put just about anything in to fill these.  You could easily make them vegetarian by adding a bit of rice in the center, then topping with beans or refried beans & cheese.  Or sautéed peppers and onions.  How about mushrooms?  Pulled pork?  Well, that’s not vegetarian, is it? You get the idea…


  1. I will be trying these! If you are hiring taste testers...let us both know!! We will work for food!! <3!

  2. After thought: I have a tart pan that has an indent across the bottom that is supposed to be filled. I have made corn bread with it and filled like a taco, I have done vanilla cake & choc. pudding filling.maybe I can do corn grits and chili w/cheese and then slice it out like a pie if I have more than two peeps to feed!! You inspire me Helen!