I get a lot of inspiration from other people’s nostalgia. The uniting bond that ties you back to your ancestors. I’m really a mutt, a southern girl born of a New Yorker and a midwesterner. This means that I really didn’t experience some southern food until adulthood. I just didn’t growing up eating it. However, as someone who is always combing the internet for delicious things to eat, I was particularly taken with this article in Bon Appetit about the best thing the author, Rochelle Bilow, ever ate. It sounds like she was quite a pill when she was younger and avoiding vegetables at all costs. I don’t think I was that bad, but I had my share of weird avoidances: onions and mushrooms anyone? Anyway, the recipe she provides isn’t much, so after making it on my own, I decided to memorialize it for you. This is surely a crowd pleaser. I have a few picky eaters in my midst and they will be eating this for sure. I’m including my favorite cornbread recipe too, it is just the best. Everyone loves it. I know sugar means its for yankees and I’m ok with that! Bon Appetit!
Cornbread Tamale Pie
1 lb grass fed ground beef
1/2 large onion, chopped
2 red or green bell peppers, chopped
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1 14.5 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 10 oz can tomatoes with chilis (rotel)
salt and pepper, to taste
Get out your cast-iron skillet and brown the ground beef with the onions and peppers. Break up the meat into small pieces. As the fat releases, add the spices and simmer 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Once the veggies have softened, add the tomatoes. Simmer it all together, then slather on your favorite cornbread batter. Cook 22-30 minutes, until the cornbread is done. The cornbread will take less time than if it had been in a pan because the meat heats it from the bottom and the skillet is already hot.
Green Chili Cheddar Cheese Cornbread
1/2 stick butter, melted
1 4-oz can diced green chilies
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 (heaping) cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Melt butter in a large, microwave safe bowl. Separately, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, cheese, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Add the chilies, buttermilk, and eggs to the melted butter and mix well to combine. Add the dry ingredients and fold until just combined. Don’t overmix, it will cause tough cornbread!
Pour batter into a greased 9 inch casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown OR use on top of your Cornbread Tamale Pie, reserving a little for a greased ramekin, to prevent spillover.