Friday, May 22, 2009



Just for curiosity I looked at my post for last year's Memorial Day weekend to see what we were up to. Oh, yeah. We were at the Delaware trailer, of course, and I had prepared a feast for our visiting friend Gloria. We ate it that Friday night, and then I got so sick I couldn't even get out of bed for the rest of the weekend. Oh, well. The company was good. But I also marveled at the drastic changes that have been wrought. This time last year we were deep in the throes of designing a house for that little piece of heaven. Financial writing was on the wall, but for a while longer we could ignore it, and we had what became the last of four idyllic summers there. How I did love that place! But life pushed us in another direction. Bowing to the inevitable, we kept our dream but relocated it. In the process we have met a whole new cast of good people and learned about a beautiful and virtually unknown corner of the country that will soon be our home. Doors close, but new ones open. When all you can see is the closing part, you're devastated. But you must keep your head and remember there are other doors waiting. All you need to do is look for them. This is advice so many of you gave me in your various gentle ways. Thank you. I've demonstrated to myself that it's true.

This recipe is a bit jazzier take on one I found in a Taste of Home magazine of a year or so ago. Taste of Home is a fun and quick read, a monthly presentation of exclusively reader-contributed recipes, guaranteed simple, home-style cooking. It's much in the tradition of Southern Living before it went Hollywood South. Since the recipes are so simple (OK, sometimes downright basic), they're easy to gussy up. No matter what else you add, the basic recipe, with its cornbread, creamed corn, cheese, milk and eggs, is rich. It's delicious, but a little goes a long way.

2 pounds fresh chorizo sausage, squeezed from links if bulk is not available
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
2 jalapenos, seeds and pith removed according to your heat tolerance, coarsely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 package (8 1/2 oz.) corn bread/muffin mix, such as Jiffy
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 can (14 3/4 oz.) cream style corn
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten
10 oz. package cheddar cheese, shredded and divided

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large skillet, cook sausage, onion and peppers over medium heat until vegetables are softened and meat is cooked through. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine corn mix, salt, and baking soda, and in another medium bowl beat eggs into the creamed corn, milk, and oil. Stir wet ingredients into dry to combine.

Pour half of the corn bread batter into a greased 13" x 9" x 2" baking dish. Layer with half of the cheese and all of the meat mixture. Top with remaining cheese and then carefully spread remaining batter over top. Bake, uncovered, 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to rest 10 minutes and serve.


Anonymous said...

Ralph, has it been a year already? I seem to have copied this recipe and made it a few times. I forgot where I copied it from.

Ralph said...

'Tweren't from me, Z&M. I did a search to make sure I wasn't repeating myself. It's a pretty common recipe, though.