Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Where You Taste The Love

Homemade Tamale Pie


2016-04-28 17.06.59

My HomemadeTamale Pie is a combination of cheesy ground pork-topped cornbread and it’s to die for. I add a few secret ingredients to the store-bought cornbread mix that sends this dish over the top.

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Sour Cream And Ricotta Cheese

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Stuffing (2)








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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
Equipment: 1 (12-inch) cast-iron skillet, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, large mixing bowl, aluminum foil, chef’s knife

2 1/2 pounds of ground pork (substitute ground beef)
1 (15-ounce) box of Krusteaz honey cornbread
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces) of sour cream, room temperature
1/4 cup (2 ounces) of whole milk ricotta cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup cream-style corn
3/4 cup enchilada sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup onions, small dice
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
7 tablespoons of RO*TEL, drained
1/4 cup beef stock, unsalted
2 cups of shredded cheese, Mexican blend and/or Colby Jack
1/2 cup of green onions, (white and green parts) thinly sliced, on the bias, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
First, wipe down the cast iron skillet with a paper towel that’s been lightly greased with vegetable oil. Follow the directions of the back of the corn bread box. To a large bowl, add the egg, milk, and vegetable oil. To those ingredients, add in 3 tablespoons of drained RO*TEL, (tomatoes with green chilies), cream corn, ricotta cheese, and sour cream mix to combine. Next, add in the dry ingredients from the box. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Pour the batter into the cast-iron skillet. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the cornbread is in the oven baking, start the filling for the tamale pie.

In a large sauté pan, over medium-high heat add olive oil with diced onions. Stirring frequently, cook the onions for about 3 to 4 or until soft and translucent. Add minced garlic, stir, cook for 1 minute more.

Next, add in the ground pork, cumin, chili powder, Kosher salt, dried oregano, and black pepper. Stirring frequently, cook the ground pork, onions, and spices for 10 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink, about 6 minutes. To the meat mixture, add the remaining 4 tablespoons of the drained RO*TEL and beef stock, stir to combine. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for another 15 minutes or until all the liquid evaporates. Drain fat, transfer meat mixture to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Take the cornbread (in the skillet) out of the oven. Using a fork, poke holes all over the top of the cornbread. Add 3/4 cup of enchilada sauce. Spread evenly over the top. Letting the sauce seep down into the cornbread. Generously top with shredded cheese.

Spray the dull side of the foil with cooking spray. This will ensure the cheese won’t stick. Tightly cover the skillet. Bake for 20 minutes.

Switch oven to broil, remove the foil, broil for 5 minutes until cheese is golden brown. Remove the skillet from the oven and let rest for about 15 minutes to set. Garnish with green onions.

Guacamole, Chunky-Style

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Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Sliders


Is it just me, or doesn’t everybody love a great meatball? I brought these Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Sliders to a party recently and they disappeared just like that! Serving them on Hawaiian rolls, need I say more? Simmered low and slow, my tomato sauce is delicious. The star of the show is my mozzarella stuffed meatballs.

Olive Oil

Photo May 13, 2 43 19 PM


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Piquillo Peppers (2)


Piquillo Peppers (1)





Sweet Basil (2)

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

Basil and Italian flat-leaf parsley

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Dried Basil

Dried Oregano





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Sweet Basil (2)

fresh basil



Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Cook Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Yields: 24 meatballs (golf-size)
Equipment: 1 (6-quart) Dutch oven, 2 rimmed baking sheets, 1 (10-cup) food processor, large mixing bowl, 1 (2-ounce) cookie dough scoop, 1 (12-inch) sauté pan, chef’s knife, parchment paper

Ingredients For Tomato Sauce:
2 (28-ounce) cans of crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 (7-ounce) jar of roasted Piquillo peppers, purèed (substitute roasted red peppers)
1 cup of chicken broth, unsalted
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of dried basil
1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves, torn

Ingredients For Stuffed Meatballs:
2 1/2 pounds of ground pork (substitute ground beef, chicken, or turkey)
1/4 diced finely chopped onions
2 cloves of garlic, minced
24 (1/4-inch) diced (low-moisture) whole milk Mozzarella cheese
1/2 a cup of heavy cream
1/2 a cup of whole milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
1/4 cup of store-bought fresh basil pesto
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, (1 tablespoon dried parsley)
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
1 1/4 cups of Panko breadcrumbs
2 (12-ct.) packages of mini Hawaiian buns

Set the stove to medium, add olive, and red pepper flakes. Next, add diced onion and minced garlic, stirring frequently, cook for 3 to 5 minutes until translucent.

The next ingredient is tomato paste. Stir the tomato paste around and let it bloom in the hot oil. Add the unsalted chicken broth. Bring the broth up to a bubble and let the broth reduce by half. Pour in two cans of crushed tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil, and brown sugar, stir to combine.

Next, add purèed Piquillo peppers. These peppers give a nice sweetness and a bright red color to the sauce. Still, on medium heat let this sauce come up to a bubble, reduce the heat to low, and let simmer.

Continue to simmer the sauce on low heat for 2 hours before adding in the meatballs. While the sauce is simmering, start on the stuffed meatballs.

First, add olive oil to a sautè pan on medium heat. Add finely diced onion, minced garlic, and a pinch of red pepper flakes, cook until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, add heavy cream, parsley, dried oregano, Kosher salt, pepper, ricotta cheese, fresh basil pesto, Worcestershire sauce, cooled onion and garlic mixture, beaten eggs, and Panko breadcrumbs. Once this is all mixed together, add the ground pork. Using a fork, mix both the ground pork and the flavorings together to combine. Do not overmix. This meatball mixture yields 24 golf ball size meatballs.

Next, dice the mozzarella cheese into 24 (1/2-inch) cubes. Using a 2-ounce cookie-dough scoop, scoop the meat mixture into your hand. Place the cube of mozzarella into the center of the meat mixture wrapping the meat around the cheese as seen in the above pictures.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
On two rimmed baking sheets, lined with parchment paper, place 12 meatballs on each sheet pan. Spray the meatballs with a light coating of non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes. The meatballs will be a golden brown. You could do this in a frying pan, but I find this way to be a lot easier, quicker, and not as messy.

At the same time, the sauce is simmering away on top of the stove, the meatballs are browning off in the oven. After 30 minutes, take the meatballs out of the oven, transfer them into the simmering sauce.

Simmer the meatballs, in the sauce, for another hour. Turn the heat off and add in some freshly torn basil leaves and gently stir through. Place a lid on the pot to keep everything warm until you are ready to make the mini sliders.

Slice the little sweet Hawaiian buns in half. Fill each with one with a Stuffed Meatball. Bring these delicious Mozzarella Stuffed Meatball Sliders to any party and they’ll be gone in no time. You won’t be able to eat just one.

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Taco Bake With Black Beans And Hominy

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My Taco Bake With Black Beans And Hominy is a great way to switch up having traditional tacos to a casserole with all the flavors you love.



Olive Oil

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Stuffing (2)





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Shoepeg Corn

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Red Onion

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 12 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 42 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (9 x 9) baking dish, 10-cup food processor, 12-inch sauté pan, 3 large mixing bowls, 1 medium-size mixing bowl.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds of ground pork (substitute ground meat of your choice)
1 sweet onion, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cloves of  garlic, minced
1 cup of Cantina-style salsa
1 (15.5-ounce) can of hominy, drained and rinsed
1 (15.5-ounce) can of black beans, low sodium, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup of frozen corn, thawed
8 small flour tortillas
2 limes, juiced
2 bunches of cilantro (each bunch equals approx. 3/4 cup of packed cilantro leaves)
1 pint of red grape tomatoes, halved
1 pint of yellow grape tomatoes, halved
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced
2 avocados, pitted and diced
1 package (8-ounces) of shredded cheese, Mexican blend
1 package (8-ounces) of Colby jack shredded cheese
3 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons of taco seasoning
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 cup of beef stock, unsalted

Ingredients For Cantina-style Salsa:
2 (15-ounce) cans of fire-roasted tomatoes, drained (substitute diced tomatoes)
1/2 onion, quartered
1/2 a jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of cilantro leaves
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt

Ingredients For Taco Seasoning:
6 tablespoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
4 teaspoons of smoked paprika
8 teaspoons of ground cumin
4 teaspoons of Kosher salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper

Note: Recipe yields approx. 3/4 cup of taco seasoning
Note: 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning per pound of ground meat.

Directions For Taco Seasoning:
Add all the ingredients for the taco seasoning into a medium-size mixing bowl. Mix to combine.
Tip: Store taco seasoning, in an airtight container, in a dry cool place.

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat add olive oil with ground pork. Add the diced onion. Using a wooden spoon, break up the meat. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Continue stirring, add minced garlic, 4 tablespoons of the taco seasoning, tomato paste, and 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt. Add beef stock, reduce the heat to medium, simmer for another 15 minutes.

Turn the heat off, add  2 tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro. Set aside.

In the meantime to a food processor add the fire-roasted tomatoes. Add onion, 1/2 cup of cilantro leaves, 1/2 the minced Fresno chili,  garlic, the juice of one lime, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt. Pulse the ingredients together until you get the consistency of a Cantina-style salsa. Transfer to a medium-size mixing bowl. Set aside.

Directions For the Avocado Pico de Gallo:
In another large mixing bowl add the red and yellow grape tomatoes, diced red onion, 1/2 the minced Fresno chili, 2 tablespoons of roughly chopped cilantro, diced avocado, the juice of one lime, and 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Gently mix to combine. Place plastic wrap directly over the salsa. This prevents the avocado from turning brown. Transfer to refrigerator to chill.

In a large mixing bowl add both kinds of cheese, mix to combine.
In another large mixing bowl add the black beans, corn, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro, hominy, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, mix to combine.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
In a casserole dish, start by ladling 1/2 cup of salsa in the bottom. Arrange 4 tortillas on top of the salsa. Add half of the meat mixture spreading it out evenly over the tortillas. Add half the cheese mixture. Next spoon the hominy, black bean, and corn mixture evenly over the cheese. Using a spoon, add dollops of salsa over the top of the hominy mixture. Arrange another 4 tortillas for the next layer. Add the remaining meat mixture, again spreading it out evenly over the tortillas. Add a few more dollops of salsa. Finish with spreading the remaining shredded cheese evenly over the top.

Spray the dull side of a large piece of foil with non-stick cooking spray (this will prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil when it’s removed). Cover tightly, bale for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown. Let rest for around 20 minutes before slicing. Garnish with 2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro.

To serve, place a slice of the taco bake onto a serving plate, top with the Avocado Pico de Gallo. There you have it, my Taco Bake With Black Beans And Hominy.

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