Menu planning is one organizational habit I struggle with, but really appreciate when I manage to keep. Knowing what dinners we’ll have, shopping for them, and then making them up ahead as much as I can really frees up the day for other things like, oh… life. An afternoon spent reading. Working on a new pattern project. Working on math with the kids. Playing Mahjong with the 4yo (she’s really good!). I’m not a big fan of shopping, and grocery shopping is way down on that “Not a Big Fan” list, so anything that keeps me out of the store on a daily basis is something I want to do.
Here’s a recipe we developed this summer, to take advantage of my deep love for all-flavors-taco-like. My 4yo calls it “Taco Cobbler”, because the assembly was so much like peach cobbler in the initial iteration (now we do the batter on top and bottom), and the name stuck. It can be varied and altered easily, so feel free to change out the meat (shredded roasts of beef or pork, or chicken/turkey would be great!), make it all-vegetarian, swap cheeses (adding queso fresco is lovely), etc. I do prefer the S&W beans, as the texture is really nice–better than the generics, and the cost is very similar. The better texture is worth a few cents more!
- 1/2 to 1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
- 1 medium onion, chopped, sauteed briefly
- 2 tbsp ground cumin (or more to taste)
- 1 can S&W Mexican seasoned stewed tomatoes, with juice (chop the tomatoes more finely)
- 1 15 oz can S&W black beans, drained
- 1 15 oz can S&W white beans, drained
- 16 ounces shredded cheese (I like Monterey Jack)
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups cornmeal
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1.5 tbsp salt (or a bit less, to taste)
- 2.5 cups sour milk or buttermilk
- 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350*. Mix the batter, and spread just more than half of it in the bottom of a greased 9×13″ cake pan.
Top with the meat/bean/tomato mixture (which will be juicy, from the tomatoes), and spread the cheese on top of that.
Gently dollop and spread the remaining batter over the top, and pop it in the oven for about 25 minutes, until the top crust is golden and starting to brown a tad.
Serve with shredded romaine lettuce (non-bagged, please!!), and sour cream, plus any fun mix-ins you like, such as cilantro or green onions. Or, if you live along the Wasatch Front and up into the Teton Range here in the Rockies, use a bit of sour-cream-based Ranch dip. I don’t get the Ranch obsession, but I bow to it so long as it’s sour-cream-based, and not mayo-based. (Or, heaven forfend, Miracle Whip. In the words of my current toddler: “Nassy.”)
The 9×13″ pan serves our family of six for two meals, or one dinner and generous leftovers for lunch.