Makes 6 To 8 Servings
A Texas treat, Jalapeño Pie was nothing more than a cheese omelet with peppers . . . until we got hold of it. The cornmeal base gives it some real substance, and the ground chile peppers in the seasoning mix bring out the very best in the Jalapeño.
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1 1/2 tablespoons Chef Paul Prudhomme's Meat Magic ®
1 teaspoon dried cilantro leaves
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon drak brown sugar
1 1/2 cups milk, in all
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, in all
1/2 cup hot water
2 cups sliced onions, seperated into rings
8 fresh, stemmed, seeded, and sliced crosswise into rings
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
how to prepare
Note: You can use more or less jalapeño peppers depending on your taste and the amount of heat desired. Jalapeños can vary considerably in heat depending on where they are grown and the time of the year, so it is a to taste them first before deciding how many to use in the recipe.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine the first four ingredients thoroughly in a small bowl to make the Seasoning Mix. Makes 2 tablespoons plus 2½ teaspoons.
Toast the cornmeal in an 8-inch skillet over high heat until just golden brown. Turn the cornmeal into a medium-size mixing bowl; add the baking powder, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the Seasoning Mix, and mix well.
Heat 1 cup of the milk with 2½ tablespoons of the butter in a small saucepan over high heat until the milk comes just to a boil and the butter is melted. Whisk the milk into the cornmeal mixture with a wire whisk. Add the hot water and whisk until thick and smooth. Set aside.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in an 8-inch skillet over high heat. When the butter sizzles, add the onions. Cook, turning the onions frequently, until they are brown on the edges, about 4 minutes. Add the jalapeño peppers and cook, turning frequently, until the peppers begin to brown on the edges, about 3 minutes. Add 1½ teaspoons of the Seasoning Mix. Cook, stirring frequently, until the seasoning darkens slightly, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat the oil in an ovenproof 10-inch skillet until very hot but not smoking. Pour in the cornmeal mixture and stir. As soon as it sizzles, remove from the heat and allow to sit 1 minute.
Spread the onions and peppers on top of the cornmeal mixture. Break the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the remaining Seasoning Mix and the remaining milk, then whip with a wire whisk until frothy. Pour the half of the eggs over the onions and peppers and sprinkle half of the grated cheese on top. Repeat with the remaining eggs and remaining cheese. Place the skillet in a preheated oven and bake until golden and puffy, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Let cool a few minutes, cut into wedges, and serve with sour cream, if desired.
NOTE: These are the peppers we used. You can use whatever is available in your area, but be sure to get pure ground chile peppers, not commercial chili powder.