Hey, good-lookin’, what ya got cookin’?

(Another post I can scratch off my mental to-do list.)

I am not a great cook. I’m not a bad cook, either. I just have a limited repertoire. This is largely due to the fact that I’m an insanely picky eater (although I’m a lot better than I was before I got married), and I don’t do a lot of cooking-things-that-I-don’t-eat. I’m trying to work up my courage to make tacos for everyone else. Not for me, because one of those things I don’t eat? Is meat. No, I’m not a vegetarian. I just don’t eat meat. Don’t ask. It’s complicated.

But, one thing that I’ve got down pretty good is chili pie. Which is also something that you wouldn’t have gotten me to even try fifteen years ago.

We bought a can of Westbrae Natural Golden Corn many years ago, and there was a recipe on the back of the label for, you guessed it, chili pie. I think the good spouse made it once as it was written, and then started experimenting with it. Here’s what he came up with:

3 large eggs
1/2 can creamed corn (all cans are 14.5 oz. cans)
1 can whole corn, drained
1/2 c corn meal
1/2 c margarine, softened
1 sm. white onion, diced
1 4 oz. can green chiles, diced (we actually use crushed red chiles, but I think diced green are easier to find)
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 pound grated authentic Mexican cheese blend (Colby Jack works, also, or even cheddar, but I like using Queso Quesadilla, Asadero, Manchego, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 3-qt. casserole. Break the eggs into the casserole and beat. Add creamed corn, whole corn, and corn meal; mix well. Mash margarine into corn mixture. Add onion, tomatoes, chiles; mix well. Add sour cream, cheese, and Worcestershire sauce; mix well. Sprinkle paprika over the top. Bake for 1 hour, or until it’s firm in the center. Remove from oven; let sit for ten minutes. Serve with tortilla chips and sour cream on the side.

This feeds the six of us, sometimes with nothing left over. Everyone really likes it. I need to start making a salad to go with it, or something (refried beans, maybe?), although that would make it no longer a one-dish meal. It’s great reheated, or even cold, when there is anything left. Also, it’s a pretty flexible recipe. If you try it and make any changes that you think work really well, please let me know!

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