Mexican Spoon Bread

1 can (1 lb.) cream-style corn

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup salad oil or melted shortening

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 can (4 oz.) California green chiles, seeded and chopped 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Mix all ingredients except chiles and cheese in order given above (wet ingredients first, then dry ones).

Pour half of batter into greased 9 by 9-inch square baking pan; sprinkle with green chiles and half the cheese. Spread remaining batter on top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake 45 minutes in a 400° oven. Cool just enough to set a little before cutting into serving-size pieces. Serves 8 to 10.

This recipe became an instant hit because it provides a remarkably simple way to make flaky pastry without having to butter, fold, roll, and chill the dough many times the way French bakers traditionally do it.

Also, you can mix the dough as much as 4 days before baking. And, you can freeze the baked rolls.

1 package yeast, active dry or compressed

1 cup warm water (lukewarm for compressed yeast)

1/4 cup evaporated milk, undiluted 1/2 teaspoons salt I/3 cup sugar

1 egg

5 cups unsifted all-purpose flour 1/4 cup (1/2 lb.) butter or margarine, melted and cooled

1 cup (1/2 lb.) firm butter or margarine, at refrigerator temperature

1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water

In a bowl, let yeast soften in water. Add milk, salt, sugar, egg, and 1 cup of the flour. Beat to make a smooth batter, and blend in melted butter; set aside.

In a large bowl, cut the 1 cup firm butter into remaining 4 cups flour until butter particles are the size of dried kidney beans. Pour yeast batter over top and carefully turn the mixture over with a spatula to blend just until all flour is moistened. Cover with clear plastic film, and refrigerate until well chilled at least

4 hours or up to 4 days.

Remove dough to a floured board, press into a compact ball, and knead about six turns to release air bubbles. Divide dough into four equal parts. Shape one part at a time, leaving remaining dough, wrapped in plastic film, in refrigerator.

To Shape Croissants. Roll one part of the dough on a floured board into a circle, 17 inches in diameter. Using a sharp knife, cut the circle into 8 equal pie-shaped wedges.

For each croissant, loosely roll wedges toward the point. Shape each roll into a crescent and place on an ungreased baking sheet with the point down; allow at least 1 1/2 inches of space around each croissant.

Cover lightly, and let rise at room temperature in a draft-free place. (Do not speed the rising of the rolls by placing them in a warm spot.) When almost doubled in bulk (about 2 hours), brush with egg and water mixture. Bake at 325° for about 35 minutes, or until lightly browned; serve warm. Makes 32.

Freeze the rolls if you like, tightly wrapped. To reheat, arrange rolls in single layer on baking sheet, and bake, uncovered, in 350° oven for about 10 minutes.


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