This recipe spoke to me from the USA Weekend newspaper insert in February. It said, "You can cook me even though you nerds aren't watching the football game!" I said, "Yes, I can." And the recipe has taunted me on my fridge from that day until yesterday.
Turkey Tamale Pie, adapted from USA Weekend
1 lb ground turkey
2 Tbsp chili powder, divided
1-1/2 C. salsa
1 4 oz can green chiles
*1 16 oz can pinto beans (mash half the can)
1 2.25 oz can sliced black olives, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1 C. yellow cornmeal
1 tsp salt
1 C. grated sharp cheddar
Heat large 12" ovenproof (can't beat old Cast Iron Bessie) skillet over medium high heat. Cook turkey, and lightly salt. Stir in 1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder, then salsa, green chilies, beans, olives, and 1/4 C. cilantro; simmer about 5 minutes. You can make it up to this point up to two days ahead and refrigerate at this point.
Bring 3 C water, cornmeal, last 1/2 Tbsp chili powder, and 1 tsp salt to a boil in a pot, whisking frequently, until mixture thickens to mush consistency (like grits). Pour mush over hot meat mixture, spreading with a spatula to completely cover. Sprinkle with cheese and remaining cilantro. Adjust oven rack to middle position and turn on broiler. I have an electric oven and broiled on low. Broil until cheese melts and mush gets a little crusty, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle on remaining fresh cilantro. Let rest 5 minutes. Serve. Preferably with sour cream and friends over if your family is the same size as mine, because "serves six" means six pretty hungry adults.
*I did not use canned pinto beans, since I have so many food storage dry beans to use. I found that 8 oz. dry beans soaked into 16 oz. of hydrated beans. I boiled them for 1-1/2 hours, but I think next time I'll cook them a little longer so their texture is less firm and prominent in the finished pie. I suspect shredded leftover turkey would work in this recipe, too, so that's a Thanksgiving thought for you.