After being sick, I was craving comfort food. Mexican Cornbread Pie, to be specific. I found this recipe in a women’s magazine very early in my marriage, and I have probably made it hundreds of times—maybe, a thousand times. I know. It’s ridiculous to imagine someone making and eating the same dish so many times, but it was an early favorite. The Saxophone Player is very fond of casseroles. And, I’m a pretty boring cook.
It’s also just a great recipe. It adapts easily, is very affordable, and makes great lunch leftovers. A garden salad is a perfect complement.
I’ve added a few notes at the end, but the recipe as written is just perfect. This is exactly how I made it for years.
N O T E S
1. Any ground meat works, or a ground meat substitute.
2. I saute the protein in about a tablespoon of olive oil, and do not drain it.
3. I add half the dry seasoning to the meat as it cooks, and the rest with the onions and peppers. (Yes, definitely, saute the peppers.)
4. Once onions are translucent, I add the tomatoes and let them cook down a bit.
5. Be sure you simmer it with the lid off, as that allows excess liquid to evaporate. You want there to be a sauce, just not too much.
S U B S T I T U T I O N S
1. If you don’t have a bell pepper, celery work. Or, use both. Maybe, half a pepper with two stalks of celery. That way you stretch your pepper, and add nutritious celery.
2. If you don’t have frozen corn, canned kernel corn is just fine. If you don’t like corn, add something else. Kale, zucchini, or summer squash come to mind. I would be sure to saute them with the tomatoes, before adding the broth. Might need to adjust seasonings, too.
3. No fresh tomatoes? Use canned, but drain well.
4. No Worcestershire? Use 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
5. No broth? Use water.
C O R N B R E A D N O T E S
We have used a variety of cornbread recipes for the topping over the years—mixes, too. Anything works, so pick your favorite. Our favorite happens to be a different recipe. It’s not as simple to prepare as this, but we prefer it. If you want the recipe, let me know.
A B O U T T H O S E T O M A T O E S
Do everyone a favor and peel your tomatoes. If you have never mastered this kitchen skill, click here for my tutorial. I kept my instructions super simple, because I think simple is a good thing. Or course, there are countless other tutorials online, too, by people who can actually educate on the process. I’m just a hack. 🙂