I found and adapted this recipe from an America's Test Kitchen cookbook called "The Best Simple Recipes". This recipe is loosely based on corn tamales and has a crumbled corn bread topping which you can either purchase already made from the store, or you can make your own ahead of time. I chose to make mine ahead of time from a "Jiffy" box mix...two to be exact because I wanted A LOT of cornbread topping! Is that so wrong?
Feeds 8-10 hungry mouths or leaves you with plenty of left-overs.
Prep time - 20 minutes Bake time 15-20 minutes
2 packages cornbread mix, prepared as directed on the package, set aside to cool and then crumble.
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 cans pinto beans (16 ounce), drained
2 cans Ro-Tel tomatoes, drained
1 cup frozen corn
2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo
1 small can fire roasted chilies
1 teaspoon smoked cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
3 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees
-In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown the ground beef in the olive oil.
-Half way through the browning of the meat, add the onion and green pepper and continue cooking until the meat is fully browned and the veggies are slightly soft.
-Reduce the heat to low and add the beans, tomatoes, corn, chipotle chilies and the fire roasted chilies.
-Add the cumin, coriander, salt, pepper and cilantro and stir well to combine.
-Spray a 13x9 inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.
-Add the ground beef mixture evenly into the prepared casserole dish.
-Top the ground beef mixture with an even layer of the Mexican cheese.
-Top the ground beef and cheese mixture with a nice, thick layer of the cornbread crumbles.
-Bake until the cornbread is nicely golden brown (approximately 15-20 minutes) and you're ready to serve.
My husband and I loved the flavor of this casserole. Sadly it seems that we're the only two sitting at the dinner table these days but somehow I always cook like I'm feeding a small army :) The good news about that is that there are always plenty of left-overs for him to take to work the next day and for me to have a few nights off from cooking when this casserole was served again...and again. Good thing we liked it so much. LOL
I have found many good recipes out of this particular cookbook so I recommend that you look for it if you're like me and enjoy reading cookbooks as much as you do a good novel! It's a keeper!!!