While this new version, created for my 1-2-3Eats! column for Parade, uses bottled salsa (I use Newman’s Own) and a cornbread mix (Jif), when I’m not in a rush, I make it the way I did ‘back in the day’, with a semi-homemade tomato sauce (I start with canned diced tomatoes and add sauteed onions and garlic and spices) and I make my own cornbread.
If you don’t use this cornbread as a topping, make it in a pan and serve it at brunch, with chili or anytime you want something with pow to keep a salad company.
Makes 9 servings
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 cup finely diced mixed peppers
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and butter an 8- or 9-inch square pan.
Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the milk, butter and egg together. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and gently stir until the batter is evenly moistened. Add the peppers and stir to mix.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cornbread comes out clean. Cool to just warm or to room temperature before serving.
If you’re using the cornbread for the casserole — don’t you love the word casserole? — just spread it over the meat. You’ll know the dish is ready when the beef is bubbly and the cornbread’s baked through.