Snow Day - Tamale-Tater Bite Mash-up


          Snow is a big deal here in the Memphis area. When snow is in the forecast, practically everything comes to a halt. Schools and many businesses close, some churches cancel services, and there is no bread or milk left on grocery store shelves. This all happens before the first flake falls. Once the snow hits, the local news takes over programming to bring us the latest in weather, traffic accidents, and road closings. We got about an inch of snow overnight, so today we are housebound and enjoying being lazy. It’s days like this that I love to get in the kitchen to whip up hearty meals that warm us through.

          My day got started with a photo from our son, Jordan, of eggs in nests that he was cooking for breakfast. Next, he texted his pancake recipe and I sent him a photo of the recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook I always use, and it turns out that the recipes are identical. Later this morning as I was thinking about what to cook for lunch, I started looking through the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook for ideas. I had a pound of ground beef, so I searched recipes that included ground beef. It only took a minute to find an interesting recipe for tamale casserole, but I didn’t have many of the ingredients. I used what I had to come up with Tamale-Tater Bite Mash-up. Here’s the recipe:

Tamale-Tater Bite Mash-up

1 medium yellow onion-chopped

2-3 tablespoons of olive oil

1 32-oz. package of tater bites

1/2 -3/4 cup of chopped pimento-stuffed green olives

1 15.25-oz. can whole kernel corn- drained

1 8-oz. can of tomato sauce

1 10-oz. can of diced tomatoes with green chilies

½ teaspoon of minced garlic

¾ -1 teaspoon of sea salt

½ teaspoon of sugar

2 – 3 teaspoons of chili powder (My dish was a little bland so consider adding a bit of  

          cayenne or perhaps a bit of hot sauce to add a bit more heat and flavor.)

8 oz of your favorite shredded cheese (I used Colby-Jack because that is what I had on hand.)

Here’s how I cooked it:

          Preheat the oven to cook the tater bites according to package instructions while you gather the rest of the ingredients. Next, put the tater bites into a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray and bake them according to package instructions. I used an oval 9 x 13-inch glass dish. While the tater bites are cooking, cook the onion in the olive oil and then add the ground beef (Mine was frozen, so I thawed it first in the microwave for 10 minutes at 50% power.). Brown the ground beef then add the olives, whole kernel corn, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes with green chilies, garlic, salt, sugar, chili powder, and a bit more spice like cayenne pepper to make it as hot as you like. Cook the mixture until most of the liquid is gone or about 4-5 minutes or so. The tater bites should be done about the same time as the beef mixture. Next, simply pour the beef mixture over the tater bites and put the cheese on top. Then, pop the whole thing back into the oven to melt the cheese. It’s rib-sticking and likely will become a universal pleaser! Here’s what it looks like when all the work is done:

 

Serve it with a bit of sour cream and guacamole. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any guacamole but it was still delicious.

Stay warm~

Debbie


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