May 21, 2009

Santa Fe, New Mexico...bringing the flavors home! Corn Bread

Food while traveling can be a problem for many older people. Grown accustomed to home cooking consisting of meat and potatoes they find that exotic spices and textures just don't go down even when they try. It really is too bad that they can't do the food thing!

But for those of you that enjoy a new taste, don't mind an exotic spice once in a while and love to travel, I am telling you that there is a world of wonderful food for the taking. Even in the United States, various regions have a distinct food preference. For example, the southwest is influenced greatly by it's closeness to Mexico. But even there you will find Sonoran style food, Texmex food and that food made in the pueblos in New Mexico. That is where I found the food I truly loved. I can't even tell you what it was about it but WOW is it good.

In New Mexico red and green chili peppers are found on almost every dish. You have a choice, or if you are adventurous, you can choose the Christmas variety using both. Hot is a good thing but this food is not about temperature...it is about flavor.

Tonight my husband and I are back in Oregon. But we had a wonderful dinner reminiscent of that wonderful week we spent in Santa Fe. Corn bread with green chilies and cheese added were the side dish for barbecued pork ribs. Yum! Yum!

I found the recipe for the corn bread on Cooks.com by putting New Mexico corn bread in the google search. (The recipe is #5 on the list) I chose the one made with yogurt. I used chopped green chilies from a can but fresh jalapenos would work too. The lovely thing about the recipe is that it is very forgiving. By using the canned green chilies that are more moist than the fresh peppers, I has to increase the cooking time. I think you will love it. Give it a try.

MEXICAN CORN BREAD
3 lg. eggs, beaten
1 c. plain yogurt
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded and divided
2 tbsp. jalapeno chilies, chopped or chili peppers
1/2 med. onion, chopped
In small bowl, stir together eggs, yogurt, 1/2 of cheese, chilies and onion; set aside.

In large bowl, mix dry ingredients with fork. Cut in butter with pastry blender.

1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 c. yellow cornmeal
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
Pour egg mixture over flour mixture and stir until just blended. Turn batter in greased shallow 2 quart oven-proof dish. Spread batter level and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake about 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden brown and when toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Serve hot or warm.

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