Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mexican Deep Dish Pan Pizza

I know I promised to delete every Rachael Ray recipe from my program because she sucks and we're always disappointed by her recipes, but I did keep this one (and maybe one or two others) that had been recommended by other people at one time or another. So I do apologize for lapsing in my integrity and I continue to hate her.

However, our dinner was really good. I adapted this recipe to our cast iron skillet which I felt made it great. We used soy crumbles instead of the meat and left out the olives because ew. It took 37 minutes to make. We really liked it. I should also note that we did not use Jiffy because of the trans fat content - I found an all-natural, whole-grain, trans fat-free cornbread mix and used that instead. It tasted exactly the same as Jiffy, which is great because it means I can use that next time we make Denise's corn casserole. I also reduced the amount of cheese to about 1/2 cup and used low-fat. Also, she says you get 4 servings - no. It's more like 6-8 servings. Definitely not four. Anyway, this is indeed a make-again. Even though we hate to admit it.

If you decide to use your cast iron skillet, this is how to do it. After you preheat your oven to 400, spray down the skillet with cooking spray or wipe it down with olive oil or vegetable oil. Then put it in the oven EMPTY and let it sit for about 10 minutes, while you are making the cornbread mix and chopping vegetables and whatnot. Then take it out and pour the cornbread mix in. You will need to cook it for closer to 15-16 minutes in order for the center to fully cook. Ours was still a little mushy but I only cooked it for 13 minutes. Once you put the toppings on, cook it for maybe 6 minutes rather than 5 just to make sure it's all cooked through. It comes out of the pan really easily. I am always surprised when that happens. I love cast iron.

This is what it looks like in the pan:

This is what it looks like on the plate:

Mexican Deep Dish Pan Pizza
Rachael Ray

2 boxes corn muffin mix, 8 1/2 ounces each (recommended: Jiffy)
2 eggs
4 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup frozen corn kernels
Extra-virgin olive oil or, vegetable oil, for drizzling

2 tablespoons extra-virgin or vegetable oil, 2 turns of the pan
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons cayenne sauce
2 1/2 cups (10-ounce sack from dairy aisle) shredded Cheddar or jack cheese
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small can, 2 1/4 ounces sliced chillies or jalapenos, drained
2 scallions, chopped
2 small vine ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons drained sliced green olives (salad olives)
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, optional garnish
Mild to medium taco sauce to pass at table, 1 cup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix together 2 packages muffin mix with 2 eggs, 4 tablespoons melted butter (melt in microwave 30 seconds), 1 1/2 cups milk and frozen corn kernels. Wipe a nonstick skillet with a little extra or vegetable oil and pour in the muffin mix. Use a large skillet, 10 to 12 inch. Choose a pan with oven safe handle or, double-wrap handle with foil to protect it in the oven. Place pan in oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes in center of the oven until light golden in color.

Brown the meat over medium high heat in a second skillet in extra or vegetable oil, 2 turns of the pan. Add onions and spices and cook meat 5 minutes more.

Remove cornbread from oven and top with meat, cheese, and veggies. Add pan back to oven and cook 5 minutes more to melt cheese. Garnish with cilantro, optional. Cut into 8 wedges and serve the deep dish pan pizza from the skillet. Pass taco sauce at the table to sprinkle on top.

Yield: 4 servings (see my note above)

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