Who else has noticed? When winter turns to spring, we long for the first bites of spring, waiting with much anticipation for the first asparagus, the first artichokes, the first strawberries.
But fall? Not so much. As soon as fall 'happens' -- it hit here in St. Louis on Monday -- we can immediately start cooking our fall favorites. You see, they've been around for a few weeks, we've just been ignoring them to get our last fill of tomatoes and peppers and okra and and and.
For me, cornbread is one of the siren calls of autumn and the cold-weather months, baked first, baked last, baked often in between. It was a welcome welcome to autumn. I pulled this Supper Casserole out of the pantry, you can too by using what meat (Note to Vegetarians) and vegetables you have on hand, then topping it with the pumpkin-colored and chile-spiked cornbread.
Hello fall, glad you're here.
SUPPER CASSEROLE RECIPE with PUMPKIN & GREEN CHILE CORNBREAD TOPPING
Time to table: 90 minutes
Serves 6 or 8
Splash of water
1 onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef (or ground turkey or in my case, ground elk)
2 cups slow-roasted tomatoes or 15-ounces canned diced tomatoes
1 cup green chile salsa
1 cup frozen corn (no need to thaw)
15 ounces canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup canned pumpkin purée (make sure to buy 100% pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)
1 teaspoon kosher salt or salt to taste
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large deep skillet, cook the water, onion and ground meat until onions are soft and meat is fully cooked (for the most flavor, let the meat 'brown' and even get a small amount of 'burn' before turning it). Stir in the remaining ingredients. Transfer to a low casserole dish.
1 egg, whisked
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin purée
4 tablespoons butter, cubed and melted in the microwave in 10-second increments
1/2 cup green chile salsa
2 cups flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal (stone-ground cornmeal is too coarse here for my taste)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, pumpkin, butter and salsa. Separately, whisk together the remaining ingredients, then stir into the egg mixture. Using two spoons (one to scoop, one to scrape) place small dollops of the cornbread batter atop the Meat Layer, butting them against each other. Bake for about 40 minutes or until Meat Layer is bubbly and the Cornbread Layer is fully cooked. Cover and let cool for about 10 minutes. Serve and savor!
Play around with the ingredients in the Meat Layer, adding more vegetables to extend the meat further or to feed more mouths. If using slower-to-cook vegetables such as carrots, winter squash or sweet potato, cut them into very small cubes so they'll cook evenly and quickly.
~ Sweet Cornbread ~
~ Pumpkin Cornbread ~
(which I made earlier this week and inspired the casserole's topping)
~ more cornmeal recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture
~ Skillet Cornbread ~
~ Apple Cider Indian Pudding ~
~ more cornmeal recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade