After a month long hiatus, I was back in full swing last weekend cooking up a storm for our annual New Year’s Eve get-together. This year we kept the traditional chips, salsa and queso sampler on the menu – a must for any truly Southern soiree – and topped it off with Sangria and Jalapenotinis – also coming shortly! But our main hors d’oeuvre was a smoky-hot play on an old favorite – Bruschetta!
Served on a bite-sized cornbread pancake, slathered with a spiced up ranchero sauce, then doused in Smoked Gouda, this tasty treat delivered the perfectly balanced smoke-and-fire flavor in each mouthful. While this recipe may not adhere to the standard Cajun-Spiced Texan tenants, being neither quick nor healthy, sometimes you gotta give in and splurge a little. And what better time is there to splurge than when celebrating the last holiday of the year? This Smoke and Fire Bruschetta was the perfect indulgence to ring in the New Year the right – Cajun Spiced Texan way.
1 tsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper (seeded)
2 garlic gloves
1 can diced tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste
1 tsp chili powder
1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
Place onion, garlic, and jalapeno pepper in food processor and chop until finely minced. Place in saucepan over medium heat with olive oil and stir mixture until soft and translucent, about 3-5 mins.
Transfer to blender (or back to food processor) and add diced tomatoes, tomatoes paste, chili powder, and adobo chipotle peppers (including sauce), then puree. Return to saucepan, bring to boil then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 mins.
*Inspired by Rick Rodgers copy of Kerby Lane’s Ranchero Sauce recipe.
*Note, if you are short on time, you can substitute Jiffy Cornbread mix. Instead of baking, simply add to oil as directed below.
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup corn meal
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp bacon drippings (can substitute Canola Oil)
Beat egg into buttermilk. Combine dry ingredients with liquid. Add drippings to mixture. Pour about 1 inch of canola oil into large saucepan and heat until just about boiling.
Using a tablespoon, slowly pour cornbread into hot oil (1 tbsp at a time) to form a small 1-2 inch patty in the oil. Let cook for about 1-2 min, or until patty has only a small bit of batter in the middle that remains uncooked, before flipping over to cook the cornbread pancake on the other side. Let cook for approximately 1 more min before removing and placing on a plate covered with paper towels.
Combine until all cornbread batter has been cooked into patties. Should have about 24 patties.
Let cool on plate and dab off excess oil with paper towel.
1 medium onion
3 fresh medium tomatoes
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 ½ cups grated Smoked Gouda cheese
Dice onion (so that still in large pieces) and place in frying pan with butter over medium heat. Cover until butter has melted then toss onion in butter so that it is fully coated. Add brown sugar and let simmer until onions turn a golden brown color. In small mixing bowl, add onions to tomatoes and toss well. Meanwhile, grate about 1½ cups of Smoked Gouda cheese.
Top each cornbread pancake with about 1 tbsp of Ranchero Sauce. Spoon 1 tbsp of tomato and onion mixture over Ranchero Sauce and then sprinkle 1-1 ½ tsp of grated Smoked Gouda over top.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 9 mins, remove, and let cool before enjoying!