Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cinco de Mayo-esque

I'm taking a cue from Martha Stewart here, and posting a Mexican-ish recipe.  Well, actually, a lovely pair of recipes I hadn't tried until tonight.  Apart, they're just two shy, unassuming recipes.  But put them together and something magical happens...  They complete eachother... Birds begin to sing... The grass becomes greener... The world...dramatic pause...more beautiful... OK, it's not really that good, but really, they are much better together.

The cornbread recipe is from an Alber's Cornmeal box and the soup recipe came from the inside label on a Rosarita refried beans can that I had actually clipped for the recipe on the outside label.  As such, it is missing a few instructions and one ingredient so I had to guess a bit.

Also, for the record, it drives me crazy to read recipes online in which the reviewers say, "Oh, I subbed peanut butter for mayonnaise and onions for sugar and this recipe was absolutely horrible!"  I am totally that person on these recipes.  Partly by accident, and partly because I thought I knew better.  Yeah, I know... I know... *sigh...*

Cornbread Mexicana
4 Tbs butter or margarine, melted
1/4 C finely diced onion
1/2 C (4 oz can) Ortega Diced Green Chiles
2 Tablespoons diced pimento
1 C canned, drained or frozen corn
1 1/2 C Albers Yellow Corn Meal
1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 C (2 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 C carnation evaportated milk
1/3 C water
1 egg, lightly beaten

Pour 1 T butter into medium skillet; add onion, green chiles and  pimento.  Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is tender.  Add corn; cook for 1 minute.
Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and cheddar cheese in medium bowl; mix well.  Combine remaining melted butter, evaporated milk, water and egg in small bowl; mix well.  Add milk mixture and cooked vegetables to flour mixture; stir just until blended.  Pour into well-greased 8-inch-square pan.
Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Serve warm.

Variation: Increase cheese to 1 C (4 oz), evaporated milk to 1 C and water to 1/2 C.  Prepare as above.  Pour into well-greased 9-inch-square pan and bake as above.

My substitutions/additions
  • I used Bob's Red Mill corn meal.
  • I subbed a jalapeno pepper for the can of chilies.  Didn't add the slightest bit of heat.
  • I hate pimento, but for your sake I put red bell pepper in to make a nicer picture.  Are you happy?  You better be...
  • I didn't have evaporated milk even though I thought I had it in the pantry (dang) so I used regular ol' skim milk.
  • I used 2 Tbs melted butter in the mix and a spray of olive oil to saute the veggies.
  • I used wheat flour.

Not much on its own.  Kinda mushy and bland.  Boy 1 didn't like it and Boy 2 didn't touch it.  But wait...

Mexican Peasant Soup
 Ingredients Needed:
2 t Wesson Oil
3/4 C each chopped onion, celery, and green bell pepper
1/4 t each garlic powder, ground black pepper, and (?)
3 C vegetable broth
1 (16 oz) can Rosarita Vegetarian Refried Beans
tortilla chips and Ceddar cheese (optional)
Steps to Prepare:
Heat oil in large skillet, cook vegetables over medium heat until (?)
Add remaining ingredients.  Simmer 10 minutes.  To serve s(?) into serving dishes; top with tortilla chops and sprinkle w(?)
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Makes 4 servings

My substitutions/additions:
  • I went out on a limb and assumed they wanted 1/4 t salt, though chili powder would have been a good guess, too.
  • I heated the veggies until heated though, but the recipe probably called for them to be soft since it only calls for 10 minutes simmer time.  I simmered way longer than 10 minutes.
  • I also assume you're supposed to spoon the soup into bowls and top with chips and cheese...
Not bad.  Hubby called it "Mexican in a bowl."  Probably great with tortilla chips in it.  Boy 1 liked it, Boy 2 a no go (big surprise).  BUT when you crumble the cornbread into it, it's a whole new ballgame!  They compliment eachother wonderfully.  Might be nice with a tad of sour cream, too.  They're both keepers, and I'll probably staple them together.

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