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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Southwestern Cornbread and Beef Skillet

I've always enjoyed cooking.  There is a comfort to taking a recipe, shopping for ingredients and then following the steps to create a dish.  I've also always been pretty comfortable putting my own twist on a recipe.  I like to change up the spices or switch out a few ingredients according to what I have on hand, or what better suits my tastes.  I'm not afraid to change things up and as I've gained more experience in the kitchen I've gotten more and more comfortable making changes, additions and substitutions to recipes and this dish is a great example of that. 

I was searching for a one-dish meal to make for Good Life Eats and My Baking Addiction's Holiday Recipe Exchange.  This week the contest is sponsored by Le Creuset.  I couldn't think of any one-dish meals off the top of my head besides soup so I did a quick search on the website for one of my favorite food magazines -- Everyday Food.  I found a slideshow of one pot meals and decided on this one.  After reading some reviews decided to make some changes. 

First of all I wanted to use things I had on hand, so I switched out the mushrooms for sweet corn.  The combo of corn, red peppers and onion then immediately brought to mind southwest flavors.  Some of the comments on the recipe suggested that the sauce was rather bland as it was written, so I thought a flavor profile with cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne would be a good move.  The other major change I made was to use buttermilk instead of sour cream and an egg to make the cornbread dough.  As I went to the fridge to get the egg I realized we were out of them.  Oops.  But, we happened to have buttermilk so I just substituted that instead.  The flavors were great and really worked well with the peppers and corn.  It was a quick and easy weeknight meal -- with only one pot to clean!!

Come join the fun with the My Baking Addiction and Good Life Eats holiday recipe exchange sponsored by Le Creuset!

Southwestern Cornbread and Beef Skillet
serves 4-6

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour  
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup corn (frozen or 15 oz can, drained)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon mexican oregano
1 pound ground sirloin
1/4 cup tomato paste
2/3 cup beef broth
3/4 cup buttermilk

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a small bowl mix cornmeal, 1/2 cup flour, baking soda, smoked paprika and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Stir to combine. 
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Pour olive oil in the pan then add peppers and onion.  Saute until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Then add corn and cook 2-3 minutes longer.  Add cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, and oregano. 
  • Raise heat to high and add in ground beef and tomato paste.  Cook until beef is fully browned, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over the pan and stir until flour is dissolved.  Add in the broth  and stir until a sauce forms.  Turn off heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour the buttermilk into the cornmeal/flour mixture and stir until just combined.  Drop tablespoons of batter on top of the beef mixture in the skillet.  There will be enough batter for  6 scoops, placing them about one inch apart.  Bake until biscuits are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. 


Tiffany said...

this looks yummy - i will have to try it out for dinner one night

Jamie said...

I love the way you doctored up this recipe - your changes sound absolutely perfect! Thanks so much for entering this One Pot Meal in the Holiday Recipe Exchange!