Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Taco Corn Bread Casserole - Church PotLuck Main Dish

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Did you look at yesterday's post of "Thyme for a Lasagna"???  That;s a wonderful dish that will keep you in the kitchen for a couple of hours.  All scratch made sauce and even fresh pasta, but a dish that will show off and reward your cooking skills (it is actually very easy when you divide the tasks into achievable small goals... but I digress).

This recipe is just about the opposite in degree of difficulty.  Could not be much easier.  A single large skillet does all the cooking browning and simmering.  A couple of boxes of corn muffin mix for the top, just a few minutes in the oven and you are done.  I dressed mine up pretty simply with a few decorative pepper rings and a little melted cheese.  You can get even fancier and more Taco Like with some chopped tomatoes and shredded lettuce on top if you prefer.

This casserole has dressed Socials, Church PotLucks and about every occasion when a covered dish is asked for since at least the Kennedy Administration and I am sure quite a bot longer than that.  But just because it is an old recipe doesn't make it any less appreciated ny the host!

Once again, like the Lasagna, this dish does break one of my rules about any Church PotLuck dish. It will require some special care to serve at the right temperature. But there are a couple of ways around this...

First and easiest is to simply deliver this to the church kitchen and those hard working Church Basement Ladies will make sure that it stays in the warming oven before serving. Tightly seal with either a lid or aluminum foil and an hour or two at 180 degrees will not affect the dish much.

BUT BUT BUT... Do check with the coordinator to make sure there is room for your dish. Many churches have a standard home oven and the spaces could already be spoken for. Make their job easy and do not assume they will be able to accommodate your needs. Be sure to politely ask the servers to remove the casserole from the warming oven about 20 minutes before first person cuts.

Alternatively (and my travel method of choice) I like to make my Casserole in the morning before I leave for church. Remove it HOT HOT HOT from the oven and immediately seal (lid or aluminum foil) and double wrap in a heavy beach towel. Then I load the towel insulated dish into a large beer cooler (No ice,No beer). This combination keeps the casserole perfectly warm for several hours.

This is simple... A little browning, a little chopping, a little simmer, a little mixing and a little baking and you have a fresh made, home made, brag worthy dish that is always well received.  One of those, "Anyone can make this" Dishes.  Plus, as I like to say...
Church PotLuck Suppers are a chance to share God's Bounty with your Church family and friends. That bounty should be made with love and caring.

OK... Here's what I did...

Taco Corn Bread Casserole

  • 1-1/2 Pound Hamburger, Browned and drained
  • 1-1/2 Cups Corn, Fresh cut from a cooked cob or frozen
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes, Diced, hard core removed
  • 2 Large Plus 1 Small Green Bell peppers, Diced;small Pepper cut into rings for garnish
  • 1 Large Red Onion, Diced
  • 4 TBS Taco Seasoning
  • 1 Cup (divided) Cheddar Cheese, freshly grated, 3/4 cup in the casserole, 1/4 cup as garnish on top
  • 2 Boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a LARGE Heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat, brown the hamburger until all pink removed. Drain the fat.
  3. Mix in the Onion and Green pepper and stir until onion softens and turns translucent.
  4. Add Tomatoes and Taco Seasoning and mix well.
  5. Transfer everything to a 2 Quart baking dish.
  6. Top with 3/4 cup of shredded Cheddar Cheese
  7. Prepare Muffin Mix according to directions on the box.
  8. Spread the mix over the Hamburger mx.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes in preheated oven
  10. Sprinkle 1/4 Cup Cheese over the browned cornbread topping, arrange Green Pepper Rings in attractive garnish and return to oven to bake for a final 5 minutes.
  11. Allow casserole to rest for a few minutes before serving. Optional to add chopped tomatoes and shredded lettuce on top for additional Taco Look.
  12. Serve Warm and ENJOY!


This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".

I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy


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1 comment:

  1. I make this for my husband and boys and they really love it!! Add some pinto beans and maybe diced jalapenos and lots of cheese!