Sunday, January 20, 2008

Let's talk Texas for a bit...

I haven't checked with City Girl on this but I don't think I have to. She'll have a trick up her sleeve. Or five.

We accidentally lived in Fort Worth for five years. Texas is not a place so much as it's a state of mind, and my mind wasn't born there. But we had a GREAT time and met some wonderful people and...ate our way throughout the Southwest. Honey, it doesn't matter WHAT you crave, you live in Fort Worth and your heart's desire is no more than 30 minutes away. Doesn't matter what it is.

I moved out there with a premature baby and a 15-year-old. And somehow or another God got me to Willow Springs Road. A dead-end street 20 miles from ANYTHING, and it was the answer to a prayer. There were only about ten houses on the street. Originally the neighborhood and the golf course it bordered had been a family farm, and four of the ten houses belonged to various and sundry family members...none of whom were speaking to each other.

Enter my clueless ass. Let's have a block party! Great idea! And you know, it was? Because all of the feuders were afraid not to come because we all don't show, you're the one everyone talks about. And over the course of the years, we had some GREAT parties. And I got some GREAT recipes.

THIS recipe is a gem. Kirk and Paula lived at the end of the street, and their son was the same age as my baby. Kirk is the first person to ever tell me, "People who drink light beer just like to pee a lot." He was SERIOUS about his beer. (I drink Milwaukee's Best Light. By choice. Sue me.) Paula grew a great garden every year...I never could get that Oklahoma wind under control...and I ate out of her bounty every summer. I miss them often.

This recipe came to Kirk in another form and he worked with it for a while. The first time I ever tasted it it nearly KILLED me...he forgot to mention the jar of jalapenos. But the next time, I had the beer already open and I am telling you...this is ADDICTIVE. It's one of my most requested recipes, in this neck of the woods.

Kirk's Jalapeno Cornbread

3 large eggs
1 tablespoons sugar
1 small onion
2 packages corn muffin mix (I use Jiffy)
8 whole jarred jalapeno peppers
2-1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4-5 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon baking powder
Following the instructions EXACTLY, mix all ingredients. Pour the mixture, which will appear thin, into a greased 13x9 inch glass baking dish, cover and refrigerate overnight. Let it come to room temperature, then bake 40-45 minutes at 400 degrees. The cooked appearance is a dark, almost burnt-looking, crust with a moist interior.
Combine cornbread mix, sugar and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Add:
First blender: Eggs, cheese, chopped onion and 1-1/4 cup milk. Blend until smooth and add to dry ingredients.
Second blender: Peppers, oil and one cup milk. Blend until smooth and add to dry ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are well combined...I use a whisk so as not to over mix.

The peppers are to taste...I used fresh peppers once (not a good idea) and they had NO heat, and my friend Robin's dad took the leftovers home with him. For people who don't do heat, four peppers will do. In this house and for my friends, I stem an entire jar of whole jalapenos and blend them right up. The original recipe calls for grated cheese, as well as grated onion. Don't bother. Cube them both and let the blender do the work.
A little factoid: When I was looking for the picture? Something said that one way to gauge the heat in a jalapeno is by the number of little scars it has. I didn't know that.

This is a great take-along's just as good room temperature as warm. Perfect with chili, chicken stew or any soup. Also good with...Carpenter's Tacos. Recipe to follow.
P.S...and I posted this as a comment last night and IT'S NOT THERE. Cut this into very small pieces to's rich. And it is NOT MEXICAN CORNBREAD. Not even close...the recipe creator was always admanent about this. The overnight rest makes it lose the cornmeal texture...this is really smooth.


City Girl said...

No comments, here. I don't make Mexican cornbread b/c The Hubster won't eat it.

And I won't even comment on using "cheater" Jiffy mix!

White Lily rules!

Country Girl said...

Let's try this comment thingy again. Damn it. When we first moved to Texas, you couldn't get White Lily there. You couldn't get Dale's sauce, either. So I'd come home and load up...White Lily flour for biscuits, cornmeal mix for cornbread, plain flour for bread. Then, I'd hit up the Dale's restaurant and buy sauce in gallon jugs. And then I'd get on the plane, carrying a baby and six bags of White Lily and two gallons of Dale's sauce. You realize...these days? They wouldn't even let me in the AIRPORT!