Casserole from the Blender—I Kid You Not

I love my blender. I mean it. Not in that euphemistic way people say, “Oh, I just LOVE that shirt on you.” Or “Geez! I LOVE this pineapple upside down cake.” I really do love my blender. Not as much as I love my husband or my child, but maybe a bit more than I love my dog.

No, I’m not a smoothie junkie and as you have witnessed, I don’t need to puree my foods. Hell, I don’t even use the blender that much. But when I do, I am reminded of how much I am attracted to the little guy. Here’s my brief product plug (no, they don’t pay me to say these things): I have a classic model Waring Professional blender in stainless steel. Real stainless steel—not that fake looking gray plastic crap. So, it weighs a bit. And, the 40 ounce carafe is glass which means that after years and years of use, it’s not cracked on the bottom. It’s easy to use because it only does low and high, but crushes ice on both settings.

So, now that you know how much I love my blender, you will fully understand how excited I was to find a 1965 copy of Waring: Complete Blendor Cook Book (their spelling, not mine). The hand drawn pictures of the blenders inside look shockingly like my model. (Don’t mess with success.) Obviously, this is one of those cookbooks that was created to shill the product. Which is why I immediately turned to “Casseroles and One Dish Meals” for this experiment.

I already know that my blender can make a juice drink or liquid-like dip. It can probably make some pretty outstanding desserts as well. But, a main course in the blender. This, I had to see! I chose the least disturbing recipe and went from there. I am leaving the oddball italics as I found them in the book.

Chili Beef Tamale Pie

  • 1 large onion, coarsely cut
  • 2 strips bacon, diced
  • 1½ lbs ground beef
  • 2 cans (15½ oz each) chili with beans
  • 1 can (12 oz) kernel corn, drained
  • 1 package (about 12 oz) corn muffin mix

Into container put onion. Cover, blend 3 seconds, until chopped. (First pause: Remember: Mid-1960s recipe. A bit before the 1970s invention of the food processor. So, putting your onion into the blender to chop must have seemed like a dream. Um, not so much. After 3 seconds, I had a top layer of coarsely cut onions and a bottom layer of onion sludge with a middle section of chopped. Easier to do this bit by hand. Blender ≠ food processor… lesson learned.)

Brown bacon in skillet, drain, reserve 1 T bacon fat. (Second pause: 1960s bacon must have been a lot fatter than today’s bacon. I did not get 1 T of fat. Luckily, I had some bacon fat in reserve. Yes, I’m the kind of girl who has fat reserves. Insert fat girl joke here.) Cook onion and beef in skillet, stirring with fork, until brown.

Combine beef, bacon, chili, and corn in greased 2-quart baking dish. Put liquids and egg as directed on corn muffin mix package into container. (Third pause: Thanks for letting me know that I’d need to have these liquids on hand. My mix called for oil, milk, and an egg.) Add reserved bacon fat. Blend 3 seconds to combine. (Fourth and final pause: Could have just whisked it together. So, I guess I didn’t really need my pretty blender.) Stir into corn muffin mix.

Pour batter over mixture in baking dish. Bake in hot oven (400°F) for 25-30 minutes, until crust is golden.

Results

The lumps you see on the top are a result of my corn muffin mix having dehydrated corn kernels in it. (I couldn’t find a 12 oz muffin mix package, so I went with one of the bags from a huge Costco box. I weighed it before hand and it came out near 14 oz. I decided a few more ounces was better than 4 ounces too few.)

Beef chili tamale pie in a casserole dish

Where do they get off calling this a pie? Call the thing what it is, for heaven’s sake. It’s a casserole with a bread top.

It didn’t look much better when served on the plate/bowl.

Beef chili tamale pie on a plate

As for taste, this is almost sickeningly sweet. The corn plus the corn muffin mix was a bit of a sugar overload. Also, this is the first time I’ve ever eaten canned chili. I am not a fan. Of course, Paul loved it. Apparently, Mr. Moo’s aversion to sweet things only extends to cake and ice cream. He seems to like meat that tastes like the inside of Willy Wonka’s factory. He kept saying, “Mmmmm” with each and every bite.

So, I leave it up to you as to whether you want to try this one out. But, if you do, you definitely don’t need a blender.

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