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Blue corn enchiladas...or waffles, muffins, polenta.

Blue corn enchiladas . . . or waffles, muffins, polenta

A Southwest staple, the blue corn tortilla (recipe on page 87) is the starting point for these New Mexican flat-stacked enchiladas. You can use the same chili sauce that flavors this dish to make a blue corn tamale pie.

Or try blue cornmeal in muffins or waffles for an appealing change of pace. And blue corn polenta is an adventure in itself.

Flat Blue Enchiladas

Salad oil

12 blue corn tortillas (recipe on page 87) Red chili sauce (recipe follows), hot

1 small onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups (6 oz. each) shredded jack and cheddar cheese

4 softly fried eggs, optional

2 cups shredded lettuce Fresh cilantro (coriander) sprigs

Pour 1/4 inch oil in an 8-to 10-inch frying pan; set over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, cook tortillas, one at a time, just until softened, about 10 seconds on each side. Drain on paper towels.

Lightly coat the center of each of 4 ovenproof dinner plates with red chili sauce. Place a tortilla on sauce in each plate and sprinkle with a little onion and some shredded cheese, then top with a spoonful of sauce. Repeat, making 2 more layers on each plate; use all sauce, onions, and cheese. Place plates in a 350| oven until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. Top each stack with a fried egg. Garnish plates with shredded lettuce and cilantro and serve. Makes 4 servings.--Lyn Hagaman Ortega, Corrales, N.M.

Red chili sauce. Place 6 or 7 dried red New Mexico or California chilies (5-to 6-in.-long chilies with smooth skins) in an 8-or 9-inch square pan. Bake in a 350| oven until chilies smell lightly toasted, 6 to 7 minutes. Let cool slightly, then pull off stems and shake out seeds; discard stems and seeds. Rinse chili pods.

Place chilies in a 3-to 4-quart pan, adding 5 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain chilies, reserving liquid. Whirl chilies in a blender with 1/2 cup cooking liquid until smoothly pureed. Pour puree into a fine wire strainer over a bowl; rub firmly through strainer. There should be very little residue.

While chilies cook, cut 1 pound lean boneless pork butt or shoulder into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Put into a 2-to 3-quart pan. Cover and cook over medium heat to draw out juices, about 10 minutes. Uncover and cook over high heat, stirring often, until liquid evaporates and meat is well browned. Add 2 cups water and stir to loosen browned particles in pan. Cover and simmer until meat is very tender when pierced, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Boil, uncovered, on high heat until liquid evaporates; stir often. Remove from heat and shred meat, using 2 forks. Set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine in a 12-to 14-inch frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 large onion, chopped, and 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed. Stir often until onions are limp, about 10 minutes. Add pork, chili puree, 4 cups reserved chili cooking liquid (add water if needed), 1/2 teaspoon dry oregano, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 3 cups; stir often. Add salt to taste. Use hot.

If made ahead, cool, cover, and chill up to 3 days. To continue, add 1/2 cup water and reheat to simmering.

Blue Corn Tamale Pie

Red chili sauce (recipe precedes)

Blue corn crust (recipe follows)

3 cups (3/4 lb.) shredded cheddar cheese

Sour cream

Pour red chili sauce into a 10-to 12-inch frying pan. Simmer, uncovered, until reduced to 2 1/2 cups; stir often. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 3 days.

Spoon chili sauce into corn crust. Bake, uncovered, in a 350| oven until very hot in center, about 10 minutes if sauce and crust are hot, 20 minutes if cold. Sprinkle sauce with cheese and bake until cheese melts, about 10 minutes longer. Spoon sour cream onto servings. Serves 6.

Blue corn crust. In a 3-to 4-quart pan, combine 1 1/2 cups blue cornmeal for tortillas and 3 1/2 cups regular-strength chicken broth. Stirring, bring to a boil over high heat and cook until mixture is very thick, 10 to 12 minutes. At once, spread mixture evenly over bottom and 1 inch up sides of a shallow, ungreased 3-quart casserole. Use hot or at room temperature.

Blue Corn Polenta

Accompany with sauteed bell peppers.

1 pound chorizo sausage

1 large onion, chopped

1 fresh or canned jalapeno chili, stem and seed removed, and chili minced

1/8 teaspoon each ground cumin and cayenne

3 cups water

1 1/2 cups blue cornmeal for tortillas

1 1/2 cups regular-strength chicken broth

1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine

Remove sausage casings and crumble meat in a 5-to 6-quart pan over medium heat. Cook sausage, uncovered and stirring often, until well browned. Drain all but 3 tablespoons fat from pan. To pan add onion, chili, cumin, and cayenne and cook, stirring often, until onion is limp, about 10 minutes. Add water and bring to a boil.

Mix cornmeal and broth together in a bowl. Gradually add cornmeal mixture to the boiling liquid, stirring with a long-handled spoon, until it returns to boil.

Reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until polenta is very thick, 25 minutes. Immediately pour polenta into a 5-by 9-inch loaf pan, spread evenly, and let stand until cool and firm.

Invert polenta onto a board and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 10-to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Lay slices in pan without crowding and cook until browned, about 2 minutes a side. Keep warm as cooked. Repeat to cook remainder, adding butter as needed. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Blue Corn Waffles

1 1/2 cups blue cornmeal for tortillas or for atole

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

2 large eggs, separated About 6 tablespoons melted butter or margarine Butter and maple syrup

In a bowl, mix cormeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, soda, and salt.

In another bowl, mix buttermilk with egg yolks and 1/4 cup of the melted butter. Pour liquids into dry mixture, stirring to moisten well. Whip egg whites until they hold stiff peaks; fold into batter.

Bake in a preheated waffle iron set on medium-high heat, or in an electric iron set at medium-high (375|). Brush grids with melted butter; half-fill with batter, spreading slightly. Close iron; bake until waffle is golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Serve hot with butter and syrup. Makes about 4 waffles, each 9 inches square.

Blue Corn Muffins

1 cup each all-purpose flour and blue cornmeal for tortillas or for atole

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine, melted Butter and honey

In a bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, beat eggs to blend with milk and butter. Pour liquids into dry mixture; stir just to moisten. Spoon batter into 12 paper cup-lined or greased muffin cups (2 1/2-in. size). Bake in a 400| oven until browned and a wooden pick inserted in centers comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Serve hot with butter and honey.

Or cool on racks, wrap airtight, and hold up to overnight; freeze to store longer. Reheat on a baking sheet in 350| oven until warm, about 10 minutes. Makes 12.

Mail-order sources: 3 in New Mexico

If you can't find blue cornmeal, you can mail-order it. Prices range from $1 to $2 per pound; shipping charges vary.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Feb 1, 1986
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