Monday, November 10, 2008

Spicy Cornmeal Sticks

The Czech Black chiles are finally living up to the description in the seed catalog as being something like a jalapeno. Until just recently, all of them have been rather wimpy, with just a bit of heat in the seeds and ribs. The heat level in the chiles that I've picked recently has been closer to a jalapeno. I'm not usually a fan of green jalapenos, they have a harsh, green flavor that I'm not fond of. The Czech Blacks are much better tasting, in my opinion, perhaps because I'm not picking them green, and now they finally seem to have a nice heat level as well. The color of these chiles is interesting, the skin turns partially red when they're ripe, usually less than half the chile, but the flesh of the entire chile is red.

Spicy Cornmeal Sticks

2 to 4 jalapeno or similar chiles, to taste
1 cup cornmeal, preferably blue
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted (part rendered duck fat is yummy)
1 large egg
vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Roast the chiles over an open flame or under the broiler until blackened. Set aside to cool. Rub off the skins, remove the stems and seeds, and finely chop, set aside.

Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk the milk, butter, egg, and chiles together in a large bowl. Stir the dry ingredients into the liquid mixture until just combined. Scrape the batter into a pastry bag.

Brush 2 well seasoned cast iron cornstick pans with oil. Heat the pans in the oven until the oil smokes slightly, about 10 minutes. Pour off any excess oil. Pipe the batter into the molds. Alternatively, the batter can be spooned into the molds, but piping is much easier. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Makes 14 cornsticks.

Spicy Cornmeal Sticks

This batch of cornmeal sticks came out more brown than they should be. It's nearly impossible to gauge the heat in the ovens in my La Crappe.. uh.. La Canche range, there seems to be three settings, hot, toast, and incinerate. Make that four settings, the gas side has the 'I don't want to stay lit' setting also. I regularly curse the people who put that thing in my kitchen. One day soon, that baby is going to make a nice garden ornament, or maybe it will work as a potting bench.

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