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Monday, March 8, 2010

Fiesta Chowder with Chile-Corn Custard Squares

It was walk the red carpet night last night!  Yes, that is right it was "my superbowl" or at least that is how I explain Academy Award night to my husband.  The festivities started at 5:00 with some pre-show glamour and then moved on at 6:00 with the Barbara Walters special (we are going to miss your Oscar special Babs!), which preceded the event of the evening.....The Oscar's!  Of course my dinner for this special night was already thought about and pre-made during the day so that I could enjoy my evening.  I chose to make a simple dinner filled with mexican flavor.  I made my Fiesta Chowder which is a soup that is a mix between tastes of tacos & fajita's with a little reminder of chili, but in a soup version.  It is great!  I also made some Chile-Corn Custard Squares that I found in my June-09 issue of Bon Appetite.  These little squares can be served as an appetizer, but I cut them into larger squares to go on the side of our soup.  They are a mixture between corn bread and a Thanksgiving corn casserole; creamy and  yet breadlike....a perfect side for a Mexican soup.

  • 2 lbs. ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 medium onions - chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves - finely chopped
  • 3 TB. cilantro - chopped
  • 2 red peppers - chopped
  • 1 - 15 oz. can of corn (drained)
  • 1 - 15 oz. can of black beans (drained)
  • 2 - 4.5 oz. cans of green chiles
  • 2 packages taco seasoning or fajita seasoning
  • 2 - 14.5 oz. cans of chopped tomatoes in juice
  • 2 cans of Campbell's Condensed Cheese Soup
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 lb. tiny pasta (cooked and drained)
  • shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for garnish
  1. In a large stock pot brown the ground meat.
  2. Add onions and garlic - cook for 3 minutes.  Add cilantro and cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Add peppers, corn, black beans and green chiles - cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and taco/fajita seasoning. Stir well.
  5. Add cheese soup and chicken broth.  Stir well.
  6. Simmer soup for one hour.
  7. Ladle into large soup bowl with a spoonful of tiny pasta. Garnish with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.  Serve with Chile-Corn Custard Squares (see recipe below).


* I changed this recipe up just a little bit by adding extra flour and corn meal, an extra egg and some chopped cilantro.
  • 3 1/2 TB. vegetable oil ( prefer olive oil and I used olive oil, but the recipe called for vegie) - divided
  • 1 large onion - finely chopped
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup corn meal
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup shredded mexican cheese or cheddar cheese - plus and extra 1/3 cup to put on top
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup canned creamed corn
  • 2 TB. minced and seeded jalapeno pepper (optional - I love the heat, but I have kids that cannot eat the spicy peppers)
  1. Heat 1 1/2 TB. oil in a  skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion and saute until soft and beginning to brown, stirring often - about  10 - 12 minutes.  Add cilantro, stir and cook for 1 more minute.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray an 8x8x2 inch metal pan with cooking/baking spray.
  3. Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
  4. Whisk egg, 1/3 cup cheese, sour cream, creamed corn and remaining 2 TB. oil in a large bowl.
  5. Add flour mixture to sour cream mixture; stir to blend.
  6. Stir in jalapeno and carmalized onion and cilantro.
  7. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
  8. Sprinkle top with remaining shredded cheese.
  9. Bake until puffed and toothpick comes out clean - about 30 to 35 minutes.
  10. Cool and serve, cutting into desired sized squares.  Can be made two hours ahead and let stand at room temp.

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