Celebrate the Layers of Nevada

When most people think of Nevada, they think desert or gambling halls or cheap all-you-can-eat buffets. Some do think more along the higher end of entertainment with the mega casinos and their five-star extravaganzas. Even then, most of Nevada is missed.

There are more churches per capita in Nevada, and in particular Las Vegas, than any place else in the country. The Catholics and Mormons have the most attendees. Catholics have even built a church just off the strip that caters to visitors. There is no congregation. The choir rotates from other churches, as do the priests who celebrate the mass. In one neighborhood on the northwest side, a Lutheran and a Catholic Church sit directly across the street from one another. Their pastors work together to schedule church services and other events so as to avoid congesting the roadways with parishioners, especially at Christmas and Easter.

Leave the strip, and you will find communities that are family oriented, and tend to be conservative in their views. This is especially true in the northern part of the state, while southern Nevada is very much divided. The younger, single crowds working the casinos can carouse till the cows come home, while the older residence who have sown their wild oats are now the ones bringing in those cows. Nevada is a multitude of layers filled with beauty.

When we lived in Las Vegas we could drive up to Mount Charleston in the morning for hot cocoa and play in the snow, then back down to Lake Mead in the afternoon for some boating fun. These two extremes are not far apart.

Just as the Lied Discovery Museum for children is within walking distance of Fremont Street at the north end of the strip.

Nevada has miles and miles of open land, with nearly 85% of the state designated Federal Lands. Much of that open space is home to wild horses. Nevada is a cornucopia of contradictions.

To celebrate National Nevada Day, a multi-layered explosion of flavors seemed the ideal dish. This can be served as an appetizer, great for family game night or a different Tijuana Tuesday experience. Enjoy!

Eight-Layer Cornbread Casserole
Cornbread Base
1-1/2 cups Flour
1-1/2 cups Yellow Cornmeal
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Sugar
1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
1-1/2 cups Milk
3 large Eggs
3 tablespoons Diced Green Chilies or Jalapeno Peppers

Heat oven to 400-degrees. Grease a large rimmed baking sheet with oil, set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, milk and eggs. Create a well in the dry ingredients, pour wet ingredients into the well. Stir to combine. Fold in the spicy peppers. Spread batter evenly on prepared sheet pan.

Bake cornbread base in the heated oven for 12 minutes or until set and just beginning to turn a light golden-brown around the edges. Remove from oven; let cool for a few minutes before layering remaining ingredients.

Seven Layers
1 lb Ground Beef
1/2 lb Chorizo
2 tablespoons Taco Seasoning
1/4 cup Beef Stock
1/4 cup Green Onions, diced
1 (15 oz) Spicy Refried Beans
1 cup Spicy Guacamole
1-1/2 cups Sour Cream
1 cup shredded Mexican Cheese
1 cup Pico de Gallo

In a skillet over medium heat, cook ground beef with chorizo until cooked through, breaking into small pieces as it cooks. Drain well. Return to skillet, add taco seasoning and beef stock. Let simmer for about 6 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside.

While the meat cooks, trim green onions, dice and set aside. In a microwave safe bowl, warm refried beans for about 3 minutes. Warmed beans are easier to spread. If thick, thin with a little warmed bacon drippings or beef stock. Both will add flavor to the beans.

Begin layering the cornbread. Start by spreading the refried beans out, leaving the edge of the cornbread exposed. Next spread the guacamole over the beans, leaving an edge of beans exposed. Follow the guacamole with sour cream, again exposing a small edge of guacamole. Spoon the ground meats over the sour cream almost to the edge. Top with cheese, Pico de Gallo, and finish with a scattering of green onions.

Cut into 12 squares, serve and enjoy. Don’t forget the margaritas!

Blessed are they who kept the word of the Lord with a generous heart.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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