Corn Bread Deep Dish Pizza

Kelli sent this recipe to me, and I made it last night for dinner. Very rarely does something get eaten without a “how many bites do I have to have?” from Luke or Bennett, and they both gobbled up large portions! Matt and I loved it, too, and I’m honestly not dreading the leftovers for tonight’s dinner (I generally don’t like leftovers).

I’ll post it how I made it, since I made a few small changes.

1 (8 1/2-ounce) box Jiffy brand corn-muffin mix (I used Betty Crocker and it worked fine)
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I didn’t use b/c I didn’t have any onion)
1 large onion, chopped (omitted)
1 garlic clove, chopped (I used a Dorot frozen garlic cube)
1 (26-ounce) jar of your favorite pasta sauce (Ragu Traditional for us!)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound sausage of your choice, cooked and crumbled or sliced
1/2 pound Monterey Jack, shredded (I used Colby Jack, but mozzarella or any Italian blend would be fine too)
I added:
1/2 cup carrot puree
several large, sliced mushrooms to half of the casserole

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×13″ baking dish. Prepare the muffin mix using the egg and 1/2 cup of milk. (Note: this amount of milk is different from what’s called for in the package directions.) Add the Parmesan, then spread the batter evenly across the bottom of the pan.

Heat the oil in a large skillet, then sauté the onion and garlic until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the pasta sauce, (pureed carrot), oregano, and salt and pepper. Cook the sauce until it thickens, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Arrange half of the cooked sausage (or sausage and mushrooms) on the cornmeal batter. Pour the sauce over the batter, spreading it evenly, then layer on the remaining sausage. Bake for 15 minutes, then top the mixture with cheese and bake until the cheese is bubbling, about 10 minutes. Cut into slices and serve. Makes 6 servings.

Tamale Pie

I remember making this years ago for just Matt and me, and I have no idea why I haven’t made it again, because it turned out really good! Now, the kids didn’t enjoy this (and I only made them try a bite because I was in no mood to have people not eat their dinner) so it was just for the adults. And because I felt like it made SOOO much, I mixed up the entire casserole part and then froze half of the mixture for another time. Notes about halving the recipe at the end.

Tamale Pie
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb lean ground pork (not sausage, just ground pork)
NOTE: I think that you can just do ground beef in this, or even better, shredded beef from a roast or something. I’m sure shredded chicken breast would be good, too. I made it with the beef/pork combo, and I’m not really sure why it calls for this.
1/2 cup chopped onion
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce with chili seasonings (I couldn’t find this, so I just used regular and sprinkled in chili powder)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with green chiles (like Rotel)
1 can (11 oz) Mexicorn, drained
OPTIONAL (but I omit): 1 can (2.25 oz) sliced ripe olives, drained
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 pkg (8 oz) shredded Mexican cheese blend (or cheddar or colby jack)
1 box (8.5 oz) cornbread mix (I used Jiffy this time)
1 tsp chili powder
Sour cream (optional but good!)

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble meat into skillet; add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned. Drain off fat. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, corn, olives and pepper, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Pour into a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish.

In a small bowl, prepare corn muffin mix as directed on package. Stir in chili powder. Spoon batter over meat filling to within 1/4 inch of pan sides. Bake in 400 oven for 20-25 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Serve with sour cream.

Makes 8 servings.

If you halve the recipe: freeze half of the mixture for another time. Pour the half you’re using into a lightly greased 8×8, 9×9 or similar-sized dish. Then, top with about 2/3 of the cornbread batter. Pour the rest into a muffin tin (there might be enough to make 1 or 2 muffins, I’d guess) and bake alongside the casserole. If you put all the batter on top, it won’t be ruined, but there’s so much cornbread that it outweighs the casserole (and this is coming from someone who LOVES cornbread).

Lasagna Bianco

Normally, I don’t like posting main dishes so totally devoid of nutrition (I like to save that for the appetizers and desserts). But this is just so good, and such a good dish for having company over, that I had to share. I haven’t made it in a while (and truthfully, it’s perfect for summer when everyone has zucchini fresh from their gardens…not me, but other people) and it sounds so good right now! There are a lot of ingredients and it takes a little time, but this is not a difficult recipe.

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz alfredo sauce*
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained completely
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp Italian herb seasoning
1 pkg Barilla no-boil lasagna noodles
16 oz shredded Italian cheese blend
1 zucchini, thinly sliced

Cut chicken into 1/2 inch pieces. In skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add onion and garlic. Cook for 3-4 more minutes, until chicken is no longer pink. In medium bowl, stir together ricotta, spinach, egg and Italian seasoning.

Here is how you layer it in a 9×13 baking dish that you’ve coated with cooking spray (these measurements are approximate):
1/3 cup sauce
4 noodles
All of spinach mixture
1/3 cup sauce
1/3 of the cheese
4 noodles
All of the chicken mixture
1/3 cup sauce
1/3 of the cheese
4 noodles
All of the zucchini
Rest of sauce
Rest of cheese

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes.

This will feed 6-8 adults (at least, when you factor in salads/bread/sides/etc).

*Quick homemade alfredo sauce that is AMAZING:
2 cups half & half (do not use fat-free…trust me)
6 T butter
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp minced garlic
salt & pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat half & half and butter. Add garlic and salt and pepper. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes. Blend in cheese. Continue to cook sauce to a medium-thin consistency.

Crockpot Lasagna

Another great Kraft recipe!

While this isn’t quite as good as traditional lasagna, it comes pretty close, and when you consider the small amount of work it takes to put it together vs. traditional, it’s worth having in your cookbook! The kids ate it up!

1 lb. ground beef
1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce (I use Ragu Traditional because there’s no chunks)
1 cup water
1 container (15 oz.) low-fat ricotta cheese
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4 cup grated or shredded parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
6 lasagna noodles, uncooked

Brown meat in large skillet; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and water. Mix ricotta, 1-1/2 cups mozzarella, 2 Tbsp. Parmesan, egg and parsley.

Spoon 1 cup meat sauce into slow cooker; top with layers of half each of the noodles, broken to fit; and cheese mixture. Cover with 2 cups meat sauce. Top with remaining noodles, broken to fit; cheese mixture and meat sauce. Cover with lid.

Cook on LOW 4 to 6 hours or until liquid is absorbed (3.5 hrs. on low in my crockpot, which has superpowers). Sprinkle with remaining cheeses; let stand, covered, 10 min. or until melted.

Mexican Lasagna

This might be my new favorite mexican dish made here at home.  Kirk and I really liked this and maybe even loved it more as leftovers.  Kayla loved it.  The other two didn’t eat it.  This recipe came from my taste of home magazine.

1 and 1/2 lbs extra lean ground chicken (I think I only used a pound)
1 cup each diced red onions and diced green bell pepper ( I left out the green pepper as I’m really not a fan)
2 tsp minced garlic
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup frozen or canned corn (drain if use canned)
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cups of your favorite tomato pasta sauce (I actually used one with green peppers in it to get a little of that)
1 cup medium salsa
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (mine wasn’t fresh)
2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
4 lg/8 small whole wheat flour tortillas (wish I remember what kind I used cause I really liked them and I don’t most)
1 1/2 cups packed shredded light old (sharp) cheddar cheese
1 cup light sour cream
1/4 cup chopped green onions (I didn’t use these b/c I simply forgot to get them)

Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large, non-stick pot or skillet, cook ground chicken, onions, green pepper and garlic over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink.  Break up any large pieces of chicken as it’s cooking.  Add black beans, tomatoes, corn, chili powder and cumin.  Cook and stir for 2 more minutes.  Add pasta sauce, salsa, and black pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low.  cover and simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in cilantro and remove from heat.

To assemble lasagna, spread 1/3 sauce mixture over bottom of casserole dish.  Top with 1/2 tortillas, overlapping and cutting them as necessary to fit.  Top with 1/3 sauce mixture, followed by 1/2 the cheese.  Cover cheese with remaining tortillas, followed by remaining sauce.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over sauce.

Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.  Uncover and bake 10 more minutes.  Top each piece with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped green onions.

Egg Casserole

This, in my opinion, is THE BEST breakfast casserole.  My siblings and I request it often when we are all home together.  It’s so easy to put together also.

16 eggs
1 tblspn milk per egg
1 lb bacon
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can mushrooms, drained and chopped (Nicole – you can use your fresh ones 🙂 )
8-12 oz cheddar cheese

Scramble the eggs with the milk, adding salt and pepper to taste.  Microwave 2-3 minutes at a time until scrambled – you want them to be more on the moist side

Fry the bacon until crisp and crumble.  Set aside.

Mix the mushrooms with the cream of mushroom soup in a seperate bowl

Using a 9×13, you will make two layers of the following:

Eggs first, then bacon, spoon the mushroom mixture on top of that, then a layer of cheese.  Repeat.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 min to 1 hour.

I think this would be delish with Nicole’s breakfast rolls/ann’s rolls.  Might have to make both the next time I fix this.  Yum.

Beef Enchiladas

After I read and started using the Deceptively Delicious cookbook, this was the first recipe I doctored up myself and successfully served to the family without anyone detecting that I’d messed with their food. Luke will actually ask when we’re having this again.

1 lb. lean ground beef
2/3 cup very finely chopped carrots*
1 packet of taco seasoning
½ cup black beans, pureed
6-8 flour tortillas
1 can La Victoria mild red enchilada sauce – I’m partial to this brand!
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream, optional

Preheat oven to 350°. Add a very small amount of oil to a skillet, and cook carrots over medium heat for 3 minutes; add beef, and cook until beef is browned and carrots are soft; drain well. Mix in taco seasoning (adding the water the package calls for) and beans, and cook for 4-5 minutes over medium heat.

Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick cooking spray, and pour a small amount of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan, just enough to coat it with a thin layer. Divide meat mixture among the tortillas, stuffing as full as you’d like. Roll up and lay seam-side down in pan. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the top and cover with cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes, until hot and bubbly around the edges. Uncover and bake an additional 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve with sour cream, if desired.

*If you keep purees on hand, you can substitute 1/2 cup of puree for the chopped carrot; just wait to mix it in until after the meat has been cooked and drained.

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