Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Make Ahead Mexican Cornbread Casserole

I think one dish meals are awesome; There are less cooking pans, less serving plates and, ultimately, less dirty dishes. You just can't beat that. This hearty casserole is a little spicy, so if you like your food mild, feel free to leave out the serrano and use a little less chili pepper.

The Ingredients

1 lb of ground beef
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 serrano pepper, finely diced (optional)
1 can corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 boxes cornbread mix
milk and eggs to go with bread mix

At Ten O'Clock

1. Brown meat, salt and pepper to taste. Add onion and peppers and saute until meat is cooked and vegetables are soft.

2. Add corn, tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce, chili powder, oregano and garlic powder. Stir until combined and bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Pour mixture into 9x13 pan, (or one pie plate and one 7x11 because you left all of your 9x13 pans at various family members' houses during the holidays and have yet to get them back because you only think of them right when you need them). Cover and put in the fridge until ready to cook.
4. Get the cornbread topping ready to go: blend eggs and milk; cover and put in fridge. Dump cornbread mix into mixing bowl. Set aside in a safe, inconspicuous place until needed.

Before Serving

1. Dump wet cornbread ingredients into dry cornbread ingredients. Mix. Spread on top of meat mixture.

2. Bake uncovered at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until cornbread is completely cooked.

3. Garnish each serving with cilantro.

Family Approval

We all liked this one. At first, my older boy was a little freaked out that there was stuff on his cornbread. He quickly got over it and ate a good size helping. Initially, the Hubs said it was great. And then he said it really needed cilantro. Doh! I forgot the cilantro. We added it to what little we had left on our plates and it really made the dish go from good to great.
~ Cami

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