It's that time of year again-football playoffs!  And that means Game Day snacks.  When I'm hosting game day I like to make sure that I am offering up more than just the regular old chips and dip, and chili.  I like to change it up regularly, and will often do a food theme based around what teams are playing.  But, I have to admit sometimes I don't have the time or energy to get too creative.

This recipe is one of my favorites when I'm feeling lazy or less than inspired. I love tamales, but they can be time consuming to make so I don’t make them very often. When I am having a serious tamale jones but don’t have time to make the real thing I often make this recipe. It’s basically chili topped with a thick batter of masa harina and Bisquick mix then baked until bubbly and golden brown. It’s not a tamale, but much of the flavor profile is there.

While you are more than welcome to use this recipe as is, if you have a favorite chili recipe just use that and then follow the recipe for the topping.

It used to be that masa harina was difficult to find unless you lived out West or in a major city. Nowadays, it can be found in most larger grocery stores, in the Hispanic section. While masa is a corn flour, cornmeal is not an acceptable substitute.

Tamale Casserole
serves 6-8 people

2 pound Ground beef
2 each Onions, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder
1 teaspoon Ground cumin
1 tablespoon Chili powder
2 cans (14.5oz) Red Gold diced tomato
1 can (15oz) Kidney beans
1 1/2 cups Water

1 cup Masa Harina (Mexican corn flour-do not substitute corn meal)
1 cup Bisquick[emoji]174[/emoji] baking mix
2 cups Water

To Make the Filling:
Combine ground beef and onions in a large stock pot and brown over high heat. Add garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Add diced tomato, kidney beans and water and cook for 30 minutes or until thickened (liquid should be reduced by about 1/2). Adjust seasoning if necessary. Remove from heat. Recipe can be made up to this point and refrigerated. Preheat oven to 350. Pour filling into a 9×13 casserole dish or cast iron skillet.

To Make the Topping:
Combine remaining ingredients and stir just until smooth. Pour over top of filling and spread it out evenly. Bake for approx. 30 minutes or until top is lightly golden brown. Will take longer if filling was made earlier and cooled. When done remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.