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Cafe Terra Cotta Corn and Pepper Spoonbread

Source: Contemporary Southwest: The Caf? Terra Cotta Cookbook.

This Southwestern version uses dried chiltepins, a tiny and fiery wild chile native to the area and traditionally used by tribes in southern Arizona. According to chef Donna Nordin, pequin or other small dried chiles such as chile japon?s, serrano seco or chile del arbol make acceptable substitutes.

2 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons butter
Pinch of white pepper
1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1 cup buttermilk
5 eggs
1/3 cup cream
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup diced red bell peppers
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried chiltepin
Chopped cilantro for garnish

Bring water, salt, butter and white pepper to a simmer.

Slowly add cornmeal and continue to simmer, stirring, until it is very thick and coats the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Beat in remaining ingredients and pour into a greased 9 x 12-inch baking dish.

Bake until set and browned, 30 to 45 minutes.

Garnish each serving with chopped cilantro.

Yield: 8 servings

Heat Scale: mild to medium

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