Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hot tamale!

Ususally when I buy more than a pound of ground beef in one package, I split it into smaller portions before I freeze it so that I am not thawing more beef than I can use at once. But recently I bought some meat on sale and just threw it all in the freezer. I made burgers and potatoe skins on Monday and I had some extra ground beef in the fridge. I was looking for something more exciting to do with it than make burgers, meatballs or chili, so I looked in one of my gazillion cookbooks. I found "Beefy Corn Bread" in a book called Family Meals by Borders at Home. I threw this recipe together in the morning and just had to heat it for 10 minutes when I came home at night. It was a surprisingly nice combination of salty, sweet and a touch of spice. It reminded me of a tamale without the wrapper. Below is my adapted version. The original called for cumin which I left out and I added a pinch more taco seasoning instead.

Beefy Corn Bread
10 oz. extra lean ground beef
1 teaspoon chili powder (I used a taco seasoning mix)
1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed (I used canned corn, drained)
1/4 cup salsa
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp. sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 beaten eggs
3/4 cup fat-free milk (I used 2%)
2 tbsp. cooking oil
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preparation: In large skillet, brown the beef and add the seasoning. Drain any excess fat. Stir in the corn and 1/4 cup salsa. In medium bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a small bowl, combine the eggs, milk and oil then add the flour mixture until just moistened. Spray a 2-quart baking dish (I didn't have this so used a one-and-a-half quart baking dish and baked for an extra 5 minutes) with non-stick spray. Spread half the cornbread mixture in the bottom of the dish. Spoon meat mixture over batter and sprinkle with half the cheese. Spoon remaining cornbread mixture on top and spread to cover meat. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Serve with 1/3 cup heated salsa. (I forgot this step, but it was still yummy). Makes 6 servings.

They recommend topping with fresh cilantro and jalapeno slices if desired, but I don't particularly like either, especially cilantro, so I skipped it. I might in the future try baking some jalapeno into the bread since I find jalapeno corn bread without meat is tasty.

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