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Turkey Suiza Tamale Pie


  • 3 poblano chili peppers

  • 2 large jalapeño peppers

  • 6 tomatillos, husks peeled

  • 4 cups chicken stock (32 ounces), divided

  • A small handful of cilantro leaves

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon cumin (1/3 palmful)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

  • 2 pounds ground turkey breast or dark meat, patted dry

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/2 bottle of lager beer

  • 1/2 cup sour cream or heavy cream

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 1/4 cups quick-cooking polenta or cornmeal

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

  • 1 cup Chihuahua cheese, queso Asadero or Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

  • Red onion rings, for garnish


Heat the broiler to high with the rack in the upper third of the oven. Char the peppers and tomatillos, turning the peppers occasionally to char them evenly all over. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to cool. Peel and seed the peppers.

Place the charred peppers, tomatillos, 2 cups stock, cilantro, salt, pepper, honey and cumin in a food processor and process until smooth.

Meanwhile, heat a large, cast iron or other heavy pan over medium-high heat with oil, two turns of the pan. When the oil smokes, brown and crumble the meat, then add the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook to soften the onion, 5 minutes. Deglaze with beer and stir in the salsa. Bring to a bubble and reduce the heat to simmer. Stir in the sour cream or heavy cream.

In a saucepot, heat the remaining 2 cups stock and the milk. Whisk in the polenta or cornmeal and let thicken for 2-3 minutes, until very thick, but still pourable. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the butter. Spread the corn topping over the turkey filling, place under the broiler and char to set the polenta. Top with the cheese, then melt the cheese under the broiler. Serve directly from the skillet, topped with red onion rings.