Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mexican Pizza

I love Mexican food. I could seriously eat it almost every day and be happy. Unfortunately, Griff doesn't share my love, although he does like it and he eats it often just because he knows how much I enjoy it. This is a recipe that's not overly Mexican. It has a sweet cornbread crust (thanks to Jiffy!) and is topped with seasoned beef and vegetables. I like to top it with sour cream and taco sauce and I decided last night that next time I will definitely add avocado.

We make ours in a casserole dish instead of a skillet and we get 6-8 servings instead of 4. The cornbread needed to cook longer, probably about 20 minutes. Last night somebody forgot to add the butter to the cornbread, but honestly we didn't miss it. I also used ground sirloin instead of beef and omitted the oil from when you brown the meat, it just didn't need it.

This is a great, easy (30 minute!) meal and it makes great leftovers.

Mexican Meat-zza: Mexican Deep-Dish Pan Pizza
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray (foodnetwork.com)

2 boxes corn muffin mix, 8 1/2 ounces each (recommended: Jiffy)
2 eggs
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup frozen corn kernels
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
2 tablespoons extra-virgin or vegetable oil
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons cayenne sauce
2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar or jack cheese
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small can, 2 1/4 ounces sliced chillies or jalapenos, drained
2 scallions, chopped
2 small vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons drained sliced green olives (salad olives)
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, optional garnish
Mild to medium taco sauce to pass at table, 1 cup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix together 2 packages muffin mix with 2 eggs, 4 tablespoons melted butter (melt in microwave 30 seconds), 1 1/2 cups milk and frozen corn kernels. Wipe a nonstick skillet with a little extra or vegetable oil and pour in the muffin mix. Use a large skillet, 10 to 12 inch. Choose a pan with oven safe handle or, double-wrap handle with foil to protect it in the oven. Place pan in oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes in center of the oven until light golden in color.

Brown the meat over medium high heat in a second skillet in extra or vegetable oil, 2 turns of the pan. Add onions and spices and cook meat 5 minutes more.

Remove cornbread from oven and top with meat, cheese, and veggies. Add pan back to oven and cook 5 minutes more to melt cheese. Garnish with cilantro, optional. Cut into 8 wedges and serve the deep dish pan pizza from the skillet. Pass taco sauce at the table to sprinkle on top.

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