Friday, November 21, 2014

Mexican Cornbread, or How long have those vegetables been back there?

Today, we at A Book of Cookrye are pleased to announce that we have more fridge space! However, we didn't want to throw out any of the iffy vegetables. Therefore, especially since as Thanksgiving and Christmas come around with leftovers, we are quite pleased to present...

Mexican Cornbread
2 c cornmeal
1 c flour
1 tsp salt
Sugar to taste
1 can creamed corn
2 eggs
Milk (we used ¼ c + 2 tbsp)
3 tbsp oil or shortening
   Filling (adjust to whatever's lurking in your refrigerator):
About 1 lb. ground meat (we used half beef and half breakfast sausage)
¾ c shredded or finely cut cheese (we used half cheddar and half pepper jack)
1 or 2 bell peppers
1 onion
1 jalapeƱo
Chopped cilantro
Other vegetables that are good on tacos

Heat oven to 350°. Grease a skillet or 9x13 pan.
For the batter: Stir in all the solid ingredients. Add the eggs and corn and beat well. Add milk until until it's just thin enough to pour into a pan without too much spreading, then add the oil. Set aside.
Chop the vegetables. Cook them with the meat, or saute them with a little oil if your meat is already cooked. Remove from heat and stir ½ cup cheese and the cilantro. Add salt and seasonings to taste.
Pour half the batter into the pan. Sprinkle the filling on it, then spread the rest of the batter on top.
Take a table knife (or just use the spoon you mixed the batter with) to cut lines through the batter about ¾-1 inch apart. Then cut through perpendicular to the first lines. This is to mix it enough to hold together, but not so much that you lose the layers.
Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake until a knife in the center comes out with no liquid batter (ours took 45 minutes).

*You can use whatever recipe or cornbread mix you like (doubling the recipe if it makes a square pan's worth). I think this is a lot better if you add creamed corn to the batter and then add milk until it is the right thickness.

Is it really Mexican? Probably not. However, does it matter?
So... yellow...

I got the recipe (well, the basic idea anyway) from one of my aunts. If one day you crack open your refrigerator and find you have some leafy greens that are yellowing and wilting, bell peppers going kinda squishy, or anything else that's kinda soft and iffy looking but has yet to actually grow fur...

You can just dump them in this!
...along with the extra meat from taco night.
We ended up with twice as much meat stuff as would fit in the pan, so we froze half of it.

It's not like dividing it in half made for skimpy portions. Check out the meat-cornbread ratio here.

It was actually kind of tricky to spread it out over everything, but that just means this'll be really good.

So after mixing it...

cheesing the top...

and leaving it to bake, we can face the fact that we are very messy cooks.

But this is good enough that it doesn't matter. I don't care that it's only tenuously connected to actual Mexican food, that it's overwhelmingly yellow, or any of that. It leaves you sated.

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