Cimeara (cimeara) wrote,

Cornbread-topped Pseudo-Mexicali Casserole

Nice in that it allows for a LOT of variation, and the kids loved it.

Cornbread-topped Casserole

Bottom Layer:

2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped (but see variations)
1 cup cooked corn
19-oz. can of black beans
19-oz. can of red kidney beans
16-oz. jar of medium-hot salsa
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Partially drain the beans by draining off top excess liquid, but don't rinse them.  Mix all but the cheese together in a 9 x 13 baking pan, then sprinkle the cheese on top.  Put the pan with the base mix into the oven while preparing the topping, so that the base warms up.

Variations for bottom layer:  Instead of previously cooked chicken, you can brown about 1-1/2 lbs. ground meat.  Instead of salsa, you can saute some chopped onion and green pepper and add  tomato sauce, with more spices.   You can also use a taco spice mix instead of the individual spices,  or with a hot salsa you may not need any additional.  The corn and cheese are completely optional.  Any sort of beans can be used, or leave out the meat entirely and add a third can of beans for a vegetarian option. 

Top Layer: 

1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup white sugar
4 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 cup milk
3 Tablespoons melted butter, or other shortening, or bacon fat
2 eggs, beaten

Mix dry ingredients first, then stir in the milk, melted shortening, and eggs, just until well mixed together.  Spoon over the base and return to the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes.   Test with a small skewer or knife (pierce cornbread and see if it comes out clean and done, or still wet with uncooked batter) to be sure the cornbread topping is completely done before removing from oven.  

Variations for top layer: This makes about 1-1/2 inch layer of cornbread on top of the base.   The people I cook for really like cornbread.  If you prefer less cornbread, you can use any recipe for an 8 x 8 pan.  You can also use one or two packages of commercial cornbread mix instead of making it from scratch.   And another possibility is added a can's worth of drained and chopped green chilies, or hotter peppers, to the batter.  

See what I mean about a lot of variation? :-)

And total time: about 1 hour from start to finish.


Tags: recipe

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