Bean & Cornbread Casserole

This is a great, stick-to-your-ribs one-dish supper. Add a salad, if you like, to make it complete. A word to the wise here: feel free to use canned beans. Just put them in a big colander and lightly rinse.

Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or put through a press
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano if you can get it; if not, regular oregano is fine)
  • 2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 3 cups cooked pinto beans, drained
  • 3 cups cooked black beans, drained
  • 1 4.5-ounce can chopped green chiles, drained
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup cream-style corn
  • 1-1/3 cups self-rising yellow cornmeal (not cornbread mix)
Preparation:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, oregano, tomato sauce, pinto beans, black beans, and chiles. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with cooking spray. Pour the bean mixture into the dish, cover, and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, egg and corn, stirring well. Add the self-rising cornmeal and stir, just to combine. Pour the cornmeal mixture over the bean mixture in an even layer.
  5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cornbread topping is lightly browned. Serve hot.
  6. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Note:

The first time I made this casserole, I had to search the baking aisle for self-rising cornmeal. I had not bought it before. Without reading the label carefully, I was unaware I had bought self-rising cornmeal with buttermilk, so this cornbread got a double dose of buttermilk since the recipe calls for 3/4 cup. The cornbread topping on the casserole, however, turned out both delicious and beautiful despite my error. Since that time, I always make it this way.

Total time: 50-55 Min

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