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Corn, cheese, chilies: Santa Fe brunch.

You can build it around corn muffins baked in cornhusks

The strength of Southwest cuisine comes from the region's complex blend of people-Spanish, Indian, Mexican, and Anglo-and how they use their local ingredients. Corn and chilies are woven into many meals. Sometimes cheese and wild sage work their magic, too.

Inspired by these rustic flavors, this handsome, easy-to-assemble brunch menu reflects the cultural heritage of this area.

Desert brunch

Chili Relleno Custard with Sage Cheese

Cornhusk Muffins Butter

Papaya Wedges with Lime

Hot Chocolate or Coffee Orange Juice Dry cornhusks, soaked in water, frame corn muffins. Many supermarkets and Mexican groceries sell the husks.

The egg casserole contains mild green chilies filled with a blend of mild neufchatel cheese, tangy goat cheese, and sage. Baked under a blanket of custard, the dish makes a simple brunch entree.

If you need a head start, you might fill the chilies and mix up the dry ingredients for the muffins the night before. Tbe muffins and chilies can bake at the same time. While they cook, cut the papayas and make hot chocolate or coffee. Serve the chilies right from the oven; the puffy egg portion settles slightly as it cools.

Chili Relleno Custard with Sage Cheese

2 cans (7 oz. each) whole green chilies, drained

Sage cheese (recipe follows)

8 large eggs

2 cups milk

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Prepared chili salsa

Slit chilies lengthwise; pat dry with paper towels, Fill chilies with cheese mixture, using all. Lay chilies in a single layer in a well-buttered 2-1/2- to 3-quart shallow casserole. (If made ahead, cover and chill until the next day. Warm to room temperature to continue. )

In a blender, combine eggs, milk, flour, salt, and parmesan cheese; whirl until smooth. Pour evenly over chilies.

Bake in a 375[deg] oven until top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in center (not in cheese) comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Serve at once. Scoop out portions and add salsa to taste. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Per serving: 244 cab; 13 g protein; 16 g fat; 12 g carbo.; 526 mg sodium; 283 mg chol

Sage cheese. In a small bowl, combine I large package (8 oz.) neufchatel cheese or cream cheese, at room temperature; 4 ounces (1/2 cup) chevre cheese or cream cheese, at room temperature; 1 large egg; 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dry rubbed sage; 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced; and 3 tablespoons minced green onions. Beat with an electric mixer until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cornhusk Muffins

6 to 8 dry cornhusks (6 to 8 in. long)

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal or dehydrated masa flour (corn tortilla flour)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-1/2 cups (about 5 oz.) shredded jack cheese with chilies

1 large egg

1/4 cup (1/8 Lb:) melted butter or margarine

2 tablespoons honey

1 cup milk

Separate cornhusks. In a large bowl, pour boiling water over husks to cover; let soak until soft and pliable, about 10 minutes. Drain husks and pat dry. Tear lengthwise into 1-1/2- to 2-inch-wide strips.

In a bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and 3/4 cup of cheese, Make a well in center. In another bowl, beat egg, butter, honey, and milk until blended. Pour into well of flour mixture. Stir just enough to moisten dry ingredients.

In each of 12 greased 2-1/2-inch muffin cups, place 2 or 3 strips of husk, crossing centers in bottom of each cup, so husk ends fan out around sides. As each cup is lined, fill with batter. Sprinkle tops with equal amounts of remaining cheese.

Bake in 375[deg] oven until tops are golden, about 25 minutes. Lift out of pan; cool on rack. Serve warm or cool. Store at room temperature up to 12 hours, or wrap airtight and freeze up to 2 weeks (thaw unwrapped). Reheat in a 350[deg] oven until warm, about 7 to 10 minutes, Makes 12.

Per muffin: 215 cal; 6.7 g protein; 8.8 g fat; 27g carbo. ; 33 7 mg sodium; 49 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Apr 1, 1989
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