Cook the crust with the lid closed until it is just golden brown and then warm up the topping with another go-round. For a grace note, the cheese is melted with just a quick bit of heat. The crust should be made just before you’re ready to cook, as it comes together quickly. The topping can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated for a day or two – it will give you leftovers. Serve it in tacos, on nachos, or simply on its own alongside a salad.
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 large onion, finely chopped
• 1 pound ground turkey or beef
• 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (remove seeds for less heat)
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1 ½ cups masa harina
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 1 cup milk
• PAM Cooking Spray
• 4 tablespoons ( ½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
• 1 large egg, beaten
• 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1. Make the topping: place the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the onion. Sauté over medium heat until the onion just begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the onion and set it aside on a plate.
2. Crumble the meat into the same skillet, browning it until no traces of pink remain, about 5 minutes. Pour off the excess fat and add the sautéed onion, jalapeno, cumin, and tomatoes to the pan until just heated through, about 1 minute. Taste and add salt and pepper. Let the mixture simmer over low heat while making the crust.
3. Preheat the waffle iron on medium. Coat both sides of the waffle iron grid with PAM Cooking Spray.
4. Make the crust: In a large bowl, combine the masa harina, salt, baking powder, and black pepper. In a medium-size bowl, whisk the milk and the melted butter until combined, then whisk in the egg.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. The batter will be very think.
6. Coat both sides of the waffle iron grid with PAM Cooking Spray. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions, about ½ cup each. Take a portion of the dough and pat it into a disk about the size of one section of the waffle iron. Reheat with the remaining 3 portions of the dough.
7. Place the disks on the waffle iron, covering the waffle iron grid completely. Close the lid and cook until mostly set but not quite golden brown, about 3 minutes.
8. Open the waffle iron, spoon an even layer of the topping roughly ½ inch thick across the crust, and close the waffle iron from 1 minute. Open the waffle iron once more, top with the cheese, and close the waffle iron for 20 seconds to melt the cheese. Remove the tamale pies from the waffle iron and serve.
• Add ½ cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese to the crust.
• Only so much waffling in you? Cook the crust in the waffle iron and serve the topping in a bowl, chili style, with the masa waffle on the side.