Despite what my hubby believe, tamales really are a “thing” around the holidays.

They are. Believe me.

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and even over the new year, tamales are a “thing.”

While I don’t have the energy, gumption, or heritage to devote to concocting full blown tamales at this point in my life, I do have the thought and creativity behind a bit of a tamale pie.

It’s salty.
It’s crunchy.
It’s a little nutty and even a little bit sweet.

It’s green chile and Manchego cheese and corn chips baked into a pie.

Manchego is my favorite.

Manchego Green Chile Tamale Pie

1 cup ground corn chips (pulsed in the food processor to resemble grainy flour)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
6 Tbs. ice cold butter, cubed
1 Tbs. white vinegar
1 large egg
2 Tbs. ice water

1 lb. Manchego cheese, grated
1 lb. ground chicken
16 oz. green chile (your favorite brand or homemade)

In the large bowl of a food processor, pulse together the corn chips, flour, butter, vinegar, egg, and ice water until a crumbly dough forms.
Transfer to plastic wrap and press into a disc. Chill for at least 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Roll out the dough disc into a pie crust large enough for a 9″ pie pan between two sheets of parchment.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, brown the ground chicken in a skillet over medium heat, breaking up into small pieces with the back of a spoon. Add the green chile and set aside.

Remove the crust from the oven and fill with half the grated cheese. 
Then layer with the chicken and green chile.
Top the pie with the remaining cheese.

Bake for an additional 20 minutes, until the cheese begins to brown and bubble.

Serve with a dash of fresh cilantro, if desired.

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