This is a Rachael Ray recipe that I saved years ago and recently discovered. I had never tried it before and I don't know why! I love Mexican food and look forward to taco night once a month. This is a nice twist on taco night. It would really be great to use up taco night leftovers.
Mexican Deep Dish Pan Pizza
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
2 tbsp melted butter or margarine
¾ cup milk
1 cup corn kernels
1 lb. ground beef
2 ½ cups shredded cheese
Veggies of your choice
Preheat oven to 400º. Mix together muffin mix, egg, butter, milk, and corn kernels. Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and pour in the muffin mix. Use a large skillet, 10” to 12”. Choose a pan with oven safe handle or, double-wrap handle with foil to protect it in the oven. Place pan in oven and bake 12 to 15 minutes in center of the oven until light golden in color.
Brown the meat over medium high heat in a second skillet. Add onions and seasoning and cook meat 5 minutes more.
Remove cornbread from oven and top with meat, cheese, and veggies. Add pan back to oven and cook 5 minutes more to melt cheese. Cut into 8 wedges and serve the deep dish pan pizza from the skillet.
Makes 4 servings, 2 slices each.
The above recipe has a few changes from the way I made it. I didn't read the reviews before I made it, so I made it the way it was written. It originally called for 2 boxes of corn bread mix, 2 eggs, 4 tbsp butter, and 1½ cups milk. This makes the bread part of it very thick. I was surprised at how much it fluffed up during baking. I barely had room for my toppings. Then I read the reviews and most of them said they use only one box of corn bread mix. That makes a lot of sense. I will definitely make it that way from now on. It was good, but it was a lot of bread.
The beauty of this dish is that it is so easy to customize it to your liking. You can season the ground beef any way you like, and you can top it with any veggies you like. I made this with diced fresh tomatoes, diced onion, chipotle salsa, and black olives. Jim suggested adding some refried beans. I thought the consistency of the beans would clash with the consistency of the bread. So then he suggested using black beans. I think that's a great idea; I will use them next time. He didn't like the black olives, but I did. That's the other nice thing: since it is a "pizza", you can top the halves differently for different tastes.
Make sure you are using a pan with an oven-safe handle. No plastic handles. I made that mistake only once! When it was time for me to buy a new pan, I specifically looked for one with an oven-safe handle. Also, if your pan is non-stick, be careful cutting the pizza into slices. A knife can easily scratch a non-stick surface. I am very careful with my pan, wanting to keep it nice as long as possible. I never use metal utensils on it. So when it came time to cut it, I tried using a plastic knife. It worked just fine. The pizza is not difficult to cut. The plastic worked just fine.
Also remember that the handle is hot while you are topping your pizza. It's easy to forget that since you are used to the pan being on the stovetop. I actually burnt the underside of my arm while topping my pizza because of this. It isn't a bad burn, but annoying nonetheless. Just something to keep in mind.
If you want the slices to look pretty, wait a few minutes after the pizza comes out of the oven before slicing and serving. I tried to serve mine right away and it was a crumbly mess. It just completely fell apart. But after a few minutes it firms up and you can lift pieces out pretty easily.
I served it with sour cream on top. Guacamole would be good too.
I made this again using the changes listed above. Only one box of corn bread mix works really well. It's much less bready that way. And the black beans that Jim suggested were a nice touch. And this time instead of using sour cream, I topped it with my Cilantro Cream Sauce. Delicious!