Monday, January 27, 2014

Freeze Ahead

My sister, Laurie, sent me a bunch of recipes that she made and froze prior to the birth of her second baby. I am slowly, but surely, making and photographing them. Here is one of them. It was super yummy and survived despite the fact that I misread the bake time and baked it waaaay longer than it was supposed to be. It still turned out great though!

Tamale Pies


3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds ground dark-meat turkey
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 minced jalapeno chiles (seeds and ribs removed for less heat, if desired)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
4 cups fresh (from 6 ears) or thawed frozen corn kernels
Cornmeal Crust (recipe below)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Make filling: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. In two batches, brown turkey, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet. Cook onion, jalapeno, and cumin, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes; season with 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Return turkey to pan; stir in tomatoes and corn until combined.

Make crust. Pour 1/8 of the crust (1/4 cup) into the bottom of each of eight 10- to 12-ounce ramekins. Smooth tops with a spoon; cool 5 minutes. Top each with turkey filling, dividing evenly; sprinkle with cheese.

Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until filling is bubbling and cheese is melted, about 30 minutes.

Freezing instructions:

To freeze this dish, do not add cheese in step 3. Let pies cool completely; do not bake. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; freeze up to 3 months.

To cook small pies from frozen: Remove plastic wrap from frozen pies, and cover with foil; bake 45 minutes. Remove foil, top with cheese, and bake 30 minutes more.

To cook large pies: Defrost overnight in refrigerator. Sprinkle with cheese; bake, uncovered, 45-60 minutes.

Serves 8.

Source: Martha Stewart. You can find the recipe here.

Notes: I don't have 10- to 12-ounce ramekins. I only have 4- and 6-ounce ramekins. I also opted to make some of it in a 9-inch pie plate. I would say you could make this in two 9-inch pie plates and cut it into wedges for serving.

Cornmeal Crust


1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
4 tablespoons butter


Whisk cornmeal with 1 1/2 cups cold water.

In a medium saucepan, bring 2 1/2 cups water, salt, and pepper to a boil.

Gradually stir in cornmeal mixture. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring often, until very thick, 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove from heat;stir in butter until melted.

Source: Martha Stewart Everyday Food, September 2004. You can find it here.


  1. You know I haven't really tried doing this. I can see that it would be great to have ready on a weeknight or Saturday when you don't want to cook.

  2. we just had this tonight! straight from the freezer. I love the cornmeal crust. it is basically like polenta. yum!