Cooking my way to happiness with Rachael Ray

Chili Tamale Bowls

March 9th, and I won’t sugar coat this.  It is very difficult to cook Rachael Ray everyday with life happening.  I wonder  why did I say I would do this?  1. because dinner is needed every night for my family 2. to learn something new everyday and try new things everyday 3. to take time everyday to do something I enjoy, for happiness, to not let my happiness disappear while I am trying to make everyone else happy. I think I’m just tired.  How many days have I been cooking? Since August 1st…..or sometime close to that, and seeing that there are so many people reading this blog makes me feel obligated.  It makes me happy to read all the positive comments too, thank you!!!!!!!

Back to work, tonight’s dinner is Chili Tamale Bowls.  Very interesting recipe….download it at

Start by reconstituting 3 Ancho chili peppers.  That is fancy talk for put the dried Ancho chilis (after being seeded and stems removed) in chicken stock, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until the peppers are soft.

While that whole process is going on, make the chili.  Start with some EVOO in a pan over medium heat.  Brown ground pork and add cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, cloves, salt and pepper. Most of these spices I did not have before I started all this cooking and today they are standards in the spice rack, that is kinda fun. Add onions and garlic to the meat, cook until tender.  Puree the Ancho chili’s and chicken stock in a food processor then add that to the chili.  Finally stir in tomato paste.  Add one large cup of beer, then finish the bottle (not much left anyways).  I would call this a mexican chili.

Then make the tamale part of the bowl.  Start by bringing 1 1/2 cups of stock and 1 1/2 cup milk to a boil then whisk in a cup of quick cooking polenta.  Polenta is very similar to corn meal and found in the same section as corn meal in the grocery store.  Let the polenta thicken then add butter, honey and salt & pepper.

To serve ,put a small amount of the polenta  in a bowl.  Spread it around leaving room in the center for the chili.  Add the chili then top with pepper jack, lime juice, fresh chopped cilantro and scallions.

It did remind me of tamales but much easier to make than tamales.  On a scale of 1 to 10… 8.

Once again I am thrilled that I didn’t have to plan what was for dinner, Rachael does that for me.  Kids loved it and they just think it is now normal in our house to take pictures of what is for dinner.


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