In a Pinch

I celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and even Valentine’s Day with food, but the Super Bowl? Not usually. No one around here really cares that much about the game (Big Ten/Ohio State college ball is completely another story), so I had nothing special planned. But…I started thinking I should make something to munch on while watching the new Doritos and Budwieser commercials. I wasn't going to the store on Super Bowl Sunday and dug through my provisions to discover fat free refried beans, cornbread mix and a couple cans of Rotel tomatoes (one Original and one Mexican Lime and Cilantro) in the pantry, half a block of cheddar-jack in the fridge and whole kernel corn in the freezer and formed a plan.

I also recently picked up a quarter of free-range, grass fed, family farm owned beef and had plenty of steaks, roasts and a ton of ground beef (about fifty pounds to be exact – thank you Three Sisters). I wanted to preserve the rich flavor of the beef, so I toasted (just until they started to smoke) 1t of cumin seeds and 1T of dried onions and ground them together in my (coffee) spice grinder and added it, along with 1t of kosher salt, ½t cayenne and 1t garlic powder, to a pound of browned hamburger.

On top of this first layer (in my 9x13 Pyrex glass baking pan sprayed with cooking spray), I added the two cans of tomatoes, then a pound of thawed corn, the can of refried beans and finally the prepared cornbread mix. I placed the whole mess into a 400 degree oven for thirty minutes - uncovered - then added the 8 ounces of shredded cheese and put the pan back in the oven for about ten more minutes (until the top was golden brown).

Topped with a blop of sour cream (I like the Darigold Crema Agria Mexican Style Sour Cream I found in the grocery here), the result was a hearty and delicious, one-pan meal the family dubbed Taco Pie.

I also had a bag of Trader Joe’s Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips (my favorite), so I made my famous quick and delicious, cheater salsa by quick pulsing a 14.5 ounce can of Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies in my blender with a handful of fresh cilantro, 1t of kosher salt, ½t fresh ground black pepper and a half dozen jarred jalapeño slices.

All in all, it turned out to be a quick, satisfying football worthy a pinch.

Three Sisters Beef: 

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