1 lb boneless, skinless chicken, diced OR 1 (1-lb.) package mild ground pork sausage
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
4 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained OR 4 (16-oz.) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes with zesty green chiles, drained
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8-oz.) package shredded Mexican four-cheese blend
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup self-rising white cornmeal mix
if making CHICKEN version, 1/2 cup chopped FRESH cilantro
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Brown chicken in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often, 7 minutes or until cooked.
2. Add onion and bell pepper, and sauté 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
3. Stir in beans, tomatoes, salt & cilantro
4. Pour chicken mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 cups cheese.
5. Stir together buttermilk and cornmeal mix, and spoon over cheese; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
6. Bake at 425° for 25 to 30 minutes or until browned.
Bean and Sausage Cornbread Casserole: Substitute 1 lb. mild ground pork sausage , for chicken, and 4 (16-oz.) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained, for black beans.