This delicious appetizer recipe comes from Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack. She was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, and learned to cook from her mother and her grandmother, Jesusita Mendias-Soza, whose hospitality and irresistible Mexican recipes were legendary among family and friends. With her sister, Veronica, and mother, Evangelina, she started the Muy Bueno Cookbook blog to celebrate and preserve their family’s special culinary heritage. Together they wrote the cookbook Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor. Yvette is a regular contributor to Parade Magazine, Mom.me, and Mexican/Southwest recipe developer for Betty Crocker, Clabber Girl, and KitchenAid. Visit Muy Bueno Cookbook blog and find Yvette on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube.
Yield: 12 mini tamale pies
7 strips thick-sliced peppered bacon
1 small onion, chopped
1 roma tomato, chopped
2 to 3 roasted and peeled Anaheim chiles, diced
Handful cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 cups masa harina
1 MAGGI Chicken Flavor Bouillon Cube, dissolved in 1 cup hot water
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 ½ cups Quesadilla or Monterey Jack cheese
Chop bacon into ½-inch pieces and fry in a large skillet until cooked but not crispy; drain and set aside. Discard the drippings.
In the same skillet used for cooking the bacon, sauté the onion and tomato about 5 to 7 minutes. Add cooked bacon, diced chiles, and cilantro and stir together.
Simmer for a few minutes allowing the flavors to come together. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Make tamale masa:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well with your hands until combined. The dough should hold together when squeezed in your hand.
Lightly spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
Divide the masa evenly among the wells of a muffin pan (about 2 tablespoons per well).
Using your fingers, press the masa evenly into a thin layer on the bottom and up the sides of each well. The mixture may feel dry to the touch.
Evenly divide the bacon and green chile filling among the masa-lined wells.
Bake on middle rack for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and evenly sprinkle the shredded cheese over the filling. Return the pan to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the filling is bubbling, about 10 minutes.
Remove the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Run a small knife around the perimeter of each well to loosen and remove the pies. Serve warm or at room temperature.