It was super-cold in Chez Butter last night. We’re currently in the midst of a remodel (the contractors just finished work on our kitchen and have moved on to the bathrooms) so I turn off the heat during the daytime since the contractors inevitably leave windows and doors open as they work. Our cold house, combined with Seattle’s drizzly spring mean that I am in the mood for some comfort food and comfort reading, so I grabbed my new issue of Bon Appétit and snuggled under the comforter.
Imagine my surprise when I turned to an articled titled One-Dish Dinners: A fresh direction for old school casseroles! Not only did the magazine take on the humble Tuna-Noodle Casserole, they even had a recipe for Tamale Pie. I tend to give the stink eye to ‘updated’ versions of classics (hence the scare-quotes), but I am always up for trying recipes that don’t include cans of Cream of ________ Soup.
Growing up, my mom didn’t make many casseroles. (As many of you know, she’s quite the home chef and was always experimenting with new recipes — ask her about Moroccan Chicken, sometime!) I remember having Chicken Divan and a casserole that was inexplicably called Martha Washington (I have no idea why it’s called that?), but I don’t recall having some of the more standard one-dish meals.
So this weekend, I’m going to search through my stash of recipe cards and vintage cookbooks for a Tamale Pie recipe that does not contain cans of mysterious concentrated soups! Making Tamale Pie sounds perfect this week, especially since Seattle’s mini-spring has left us and we’re back to our drizzly, grey days — that, and the contractors have left my house chilled to the bone, yet again!