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  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 (14-ounce) canned stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cups corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 cups grated pepper Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 3 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons heavy or light cream
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • 1 (6-ounce) can pitted black olives (optional)


  1. To prepare beef filling, combine onion, ground beef, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and chili powder in a large skillet; saute until beef is browned.
  2. Add tomatoes and corn and heat through. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 13-by-9-inch casserole dish.
  4. To prepare cornmeal batter, combine chicken broth and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Whisk together cornmeal and cold water until smooth. While broth is boiling, add cornmeal mixture all at once, whisking constantly. Stir over medium heat until thick and boiling. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until the consistency of mashed potatoes. Stir in yogurt and cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring often.
  5. Spread about two-thirds of the cornmeal batter in casserole. Add beef filling. Top with 1 cup pepper Jack and 1 cup Cheddar cheese. Spoon on remaining cornmeal batter and smooth with a spatula.
  6. To make the toppings, stir yogurt and cream together in a small bowl. Spoon lines of yogurt mixture and diced tomatoes across top. Sprinkle remaining cheeses over top.
  7. Place casserole dish on top of a large baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes; cover with foil and bake 30 minutes longer. Let stand 20 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream and black olives.
Recipe by Jim Fobel.

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The recipe was originally published as Beef and Cheese Tamale Pie on

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