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FancyTex-Mex Cornbread

by Bill Dwyer

Everyone I’ve served this to loves it. You might like it too.

Ingredients: 

  • 4 thick slices of bacon, fried, drained, and cut into small pieces
  • 1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 oz  Cheddar cheese, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 chipotle pepper, minced
  • 2 cups coarse-milled cornmeal (polenta)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp  salt
  • 1 cup  buttermilk (leche agrÍa)
  • 2 eggs
  • bacon fat

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350⁰F (175⁰C). 
  2. Fry the bacon until almost crisp. Drain between paper towels. Reserve the fat remaining in the pan at room temperature. 
  3. Sauté the onion and bell pepper in 2 tbsp of bacon fat until onions become translucent. Reserve. 
  4. Dice the cheese and reserve. 
  5. In a medium size bowl, mix the dry ingredients until blended. Add the Buttermilk and eggs and minced chipotle pepper. Stir until you have a smooth pasty dough, adding more buttermilk if necessary. 
  6. Mix in the onion, bell pepper and cheese until well distributed in the dough. 
  7. Coat the inside surfaces of a loaf pan with bacon fat. Spoon the dough into the pan and press into shape with a rubber or silicone spatula, shaping the upper surface of the dough into a mound. Brush the top of the dough with bacon fat. 
  8. Bake until golden brown on top or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean (50-60 minutes), rotating the pan 180⁰ halfway through the baking time.

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