Besides the obvious things like family, friends, and liberal politics, two things I really miss about San Francisco are Chinese food and Mexican food.  There just aren’t a lot of decent ethnic restaurants out here in the Wonder Bread Suburbs.

Andy’s Excellent Chow Mein or Gordo’s Burritos are things I dream about.  Especially since both of them were within walking distance from our front door.  ::sigh::

Nowadays, if I want Mexican, it’s easier just to make it, myself.

So last night it was Mexican.  A tamale pie. Not the most authentic of recipes, perhaps, but the flavors were there.

The filling was a combination of chiles, onions, green peppers, ground beef, garlic, cumin, roasted corn, a can of pinto beans (rinsed and drained) and enchilada sauce.  The topping was a tamale masa.  As I said – not exactly authentic, but it worked, well.

I do make tamales every now and again and have a (now nearly empty) bag of Maseca Masa Flour in the cabinet.  Corn flour is very different than cornmeal and is quite reasonably priced – even out here in ‘burbia.  The recipe for making tamales is very simple – equal parts of masa and water, a third as much lard (yes, lard!) a pinch of salt and a bit of baking powder.

I cooked off the onions, garlic, and peppers, added the cumin, chipotle powder, and then the ground beef.  When it was cooked through, I added the corn, beans, and the enchilada sauce.  I tasted and added a pinch of S&P and then spooned the masa topping over everything.

I covered it and placed it in a preheated 350° oven for about an hour.

I topped it with some shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

It wasn’t Gordo but it worked.  And it was really good for lunch, today!