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 BMy A n g i e B r i d g e s
aize otherwise known as corn has been traced back about 10,000 years by historians to the
indigenous people of Mexico. Corn is a seed similar to rice or wheat that grows like a wild grass. After European contact in the 15th and 16th centuries explorers took maize to other parts of Europe where it flourished because of ability to grow in varied climates. Personally, I’ve met few people who dislike corn. Even people who hate vegetables make an exception for corn, most likely because it’s sweet, and we all have recollections of enjoying corn on the cob as kids with corn juice streaming down our chins. I have a fond memory of one particular dinner when I was about 6 and was missing my two front teeth and my dad laughing hysterically at my attempts to gnaw at a cob with my remaining teeth. I used to love to make my dad laugh.
Some of the world’s most popular foods are centered on corn. Who can imagine a weekend without tortilla chips and salsa? Or a movie without popcorn? There’s also polenta, an Italian staple. Polenta is a fine ground cornmeal and is a versatile, tasty, and impressive element to incorporate into a meal. It can be served creamy with various toppings like braised meat, or vegetables, or chilled and cut into squares and pan fried
or grilled. In our house, we’re fond of grits, a southern staple and have been known to enjoy grits with eggs for breakfast on lazy weekends, or shrimp and grits for dinner.
Tina from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure movie said it best: “Yes, there are thousands and thousands of uses for corn, all of which I’m going to tell you about right now!”I hope you all have some fun exploring corn and its many uses in the culinary arena. This month I’m sharing with you a recipe using one of my most favorite corn products, Frito’sTM Corn Chips. Enjoy!
Ciao for Now, Angie
Ranch Chicken Casserole
You’ll Need: 4 cups FritosTM chips, 4 cups pulled chicken (from a rotisserie-easy!) 1 (10.75 oz.) can of chicken broth, 1 (10.75 oz.) cream of chicken soup, 1 (10.75 oz.) can of tomatoes with green chilies, 2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese, 6 green onions chopped, 2 tbs. olive oil.
Directions: Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat and sauté green onions until soft (about 5 minutes) Add broth, soup, and tomatoes and simmer until combined well. Separately, in a 9x13 pan (spray with pan spray) layer chips, chicken, soup and cheese and repeat twice ending with cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover
and put back in oven for 10 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. (Sometimes we put a little more cheese on it-my family loves cheese) Can be served with salsa, sour cream or even guacamole too. Enjoy!
Angie Bridges is owner of Copa Wine Bar in
Stone Oak along with
her husband, Jeff Bridges. Angie is also the founder of the Taste of the Northside Fiesta event and is the original Queen of the Vine.
: Getting Corny
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