First, excuse the picture quality. My mom had my camera last night and Rob's camera isn't functioning so well ever since Codi gave it a bath in a cup of water. This means you get Iphone pics.
Last night Ginger was over and I was hemming and hawing over what on earth to make for dinner. I knew I had ground beef and that was it. In fact when Rob asked before his softball game what was for dinner I replied, "ground beef."
I recalled earlier in the week seeing Rachel Ray make this dish that looked sort of like a quiche but with polenta instead of pie crust. She filled it with leeks and panchetta. I had corn meal and thought, WHY NOT! I made a teeny portion but can I just tell you how CHEAP this meal is. Seriously I don't even think it cost $10.00, in fact $10.00 would have fed an army of people if I had used the full portion of ingredients instead of making a small batch.
1 Cup uncooked cornmeal
3 cups water
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 medium white onion diced
4 cloves garlic chopped
1 tomato diced
3 tbsp real bacon bits
3 tbsp green chille salsa
1 tbsp adobo powder, (you can omit if you don't have it)
2 eggs beaten
2 tbsp milk
1 cup shredded monteray jack cheese
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350. In medium size pot bring water and cornmeal to a boil witha pinch of salt. Stir often. Once it boils reduce heat to low and let it simmer, stirring often. In another pan brown meat, onions, garlic, tomatoes, salt, pepper & adobo. Once meat is browned add salsa, combine and turn off heat. In small nonstick pan place 2/3 of your corn meal. With a plastic spatula push the cornmeal up the sides of the pan creating a pie crust out of polenta. Turn burner on low and allow polenta to brown. Layer half of your cheese on top of polenta. Add as much meat as will fit in the pan. Whisk eggs and milk and pour on top of meat. Add remaining cheese and place uncovered in the oven for 20-30 minutes until eggs are cooked.
My husband actually really like this. I sliced it up like pie and served it with a bit more green salsa on the side. Ginger kept taking tastes of the meat out of the pan. I love the meat on it's own and think it would be great wrapped in a burrito. Here is my cost breakdown estimate;
1/2 lb ground beef $2.50
Cornmeal $2.00 (for an entire bag)
Cheese $4.00 (for a one pound block I used maybe $1.00 worth)
bacon bits $1.50 (entire bag)
Salsa $.89 (for small can)
Onion $.79 (entire onion)
Eggs $1.00 (for a whole dozen, mine are pricier I buy organic but I'm basing this on average cost)
The coolest part of this meal is it was all stuff on hand. Plus I could have easily quadrupled this meal in a larger pan. In fact I could have used a few pans and made them different. A veggie version with bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, onions and garlic, a chicken version, etc. The great part is, it's family friendly kids would love it, guys love it, and you can make yours lower calorie by ommitting bacon or using only veggies.