Fran Pickens of Hendersonville, Tennessee, took home first-place honors at the National Cornbread Cook-off in 2001 with this spicy entry.
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 medium green or red bell pepper, seeded and cut into rings
2 cups Martha White Buttermilk Self-Rising Corn Meal Mix
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon sugar
1 (16-ounce) jar chunky-style salsa
1 1/4 cups milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 425°.
Make the filling: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 10 1/2-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the ground beef, onion, chili powder, salt, and garlic salt; cook until the beef is no longer pink, stirring frequently and breaking up any clumps of meat. Remove the beef mixture from the skillet to a bowl. Place the bell pepper rings in a single layer in the bottom of the skillet. Spoon the beef mixture over the rings.
Make the topping: Stir together the corn meal mix, cheese, sugar, salsa, milk, 3 tablespoons oil, and egg in a medium bowl; stir until well blended. Spread the batter evenly over the beef mixture in the skillet. Bake until golden brown, 32 to 38 minutes.
Place a serving plate over the skillet; carefully invert and remove the skillet. Cut into wedges. If desired, this can be served from the skillet: Cut into wedges and carefully turn each wedge upside down onto a serving plate.