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Tamale Stuffed Shells

*GOD*day!

So you can’t do desserts every day.  What am I saying?  You can, you can, you so can.  Along with that though you also need some nutritious sustenance, so along with all my baking that I do I also have to cook up some dinner goodness to serve on a plate.

I’m blessed to get to cook for a living.  I don’t just demo food items in a grocery store, Publix affords me the ability to be sort of a chef.  They come up with recipes I cook.  It’s a pretty cool gig and one that I don’t mind saying I enjoy, and not just because people tell me I’m a great cook.  Truth is I’ve always loved to cook for my family and I’ve always loved to play with food.  Now I even get paid for it, and to do the dishes as well.  Not a shabby way to earn a living, eh?

It’s Fusion Cooking Day

This past week we did a recipe that was called Easy Tamale Casserole.  Now I really liked this recipe but from the moment I made it on the first day I knew I wanted to do something else with it.  So today, being it’s my day off from cooking, what do you suppose it is I’ve gone and done now?  Yes, yes I went and played with the recipe and lo and behold we have a winner.

Now back in the day, and in fact long after, before someone stuck a label on all this mixing together of ethnic dishes, we all called it pantry cooking, or kitchen sink cooking.  Everyone has a name for it, and finally it took some fancy pants to put a name on it that makes it marketable and well, actually quite nicer.  It will be however for many a cook cooking with what you had on hand.  I do though like thinking now that I can “fusion” cook.  I personally like the sound of saying fusion cooking.  It’s like saying “salsa” it’s just a fun word.

As I was talking about this at work someone said they had a great white enchilada sauce recipe to share with me, so I could use that as my sauce.  I couldn’t wait, and because I’m doing a fusion thing, I thought I’d go ahead and keep that Mexican Italian flair going so I used Alfredo.

Tamale Stuffed Shells, by Jeannie Bee

1 16oz. container of salsa

2 cups of Yellow Self-Rising Corn Meal Mix

3/4 cup water

1 can 15.25oz. Black Beans, rinsed and drained

3 ears of fresh corn

1/2 cup of cilantro or 3 tbsp. Garden Gourmet Cilantro Herb Blend

2 cups Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese

1 12oz. box Jumbo Shells, cooked

1 16oz. jar Alfredo Sauce

1 can Ro*Tel Mild Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies

2 8oz. bags of Tyson Ready Grilled Chicken Strips, shredded

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Prepare 15×10 jelly-roll pan by spraying with cooking spray, set aside.

In a large bowl mix together salsa, corn meal mix, water, beans, corn, cilantro and cheese, and chicken, just until blended.

Fill each shell with about two tablespoons of mixture, repeat until done and place on prepared pan.

In a small bowl mix together Alfredo Sauce and Ro*Tel tomatoes.  Pour over shells.  Cover with non-stick foil, or foil that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake 30 minutes, remove foil.

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