I mentioned in my most recent multi-week menu post making Mexican Pizza, an easy and versatile meal that my mom makes frequently. As I wrote that, it occurred to me to ask Mom if there is a recipe for Mexican Pizza or she’s just been winging it all along! She has no written recipe, but with her input, I’ve written some guidelines for making Mexican Pizza.
To make one pan–a meal or main dish for 4-6 people–you will need:
- 1 batch of freshly mixed cornbread batter, the amount that normally would bake in a 9- or 10-inch square/round pan. Use your favorite recipe, but consider decreasing the sugar. You could add a little chili powder if you want. If you don’t have a favorite recipe, see below.
- 1 1/2 cups (or 15-oz. can) cooked Mexican-flavored beans. These might be left over from another meal, prepared by your favorite Mexicanating process, or just plain beans plus 1 cup salsa. Mom suggests this: Drain and rinse a can of pinto or red beans; combine with 8 oz. (1 cup) tomato sauce fortified with chili powder, dried diced onion, oregano, garlic powder to taste.
- 1-2 cups grated cheddar or jack cheese.
- Optional ingredients: peppers, olives, etc.
- 9″x13″ baking pan, or cookie sheet with sides.
- Grease for the pan. I like coconut oil.
- Optional cold toppings to add after baking: guacamole, plain yogurt or sour cream, shredded lettuce, cilantro.
Preheat oven to 425F. Grease the pan. Pour in the batter and spread it to cover the bottom of the pan. If using a cookie sheet, start from one end and spread batter toward the other end until you begin having trouble getting it to stay together–it should be about 1/2″ deep and may not fill the whole cookie sheet.
Sprinkle beans and optional ingredients evenly over the batter. Sprinkle cheese evenly on top.
Bake 10 minutes. Check to see if you can lift the edge of the crust easily with a spatula. If not, keep baking and checking every few minutes until it’s done–typically 15-20 minutes.
Cut into squares and serve with optional cold toppings.
Aunt Dully’s Farm Cornbread
Aunt Dully was my great-aunt, the widow of my grandma’s oldest brother who died before I was born. Aunt Dully lived to be 90 and was a great cook! This is her cornbread recipe.
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup flour (You can use whole-wheat.)
- 1/3 cup sugar (For Mexican Pizza crust, use 2 or 3 Tbsp. sugar or honey or sorghum syrup.)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
Make a well in the center. Mix these wet ingredients in the well:
- 1 cup milk (Can substitute 1 cup water and 1/3 cup dry milk powder.)
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup oil
Then stir the wet into the dry ingredients, just until dampened; do not beat.
To make plain cornbread, place a lump of butter in a 10″ cast-iron skillet (for best results–if you don’t have one, use a 9″ or 10″ round or square pan) and set it in the oven while preheating to let the butter melt; then pour in the batter and bake 15 minutes at 425F.