Chile and chess


Yesterday my dad and I were invited over to have lunch by our friends, Ed and Kay, and to have a little lesson on chess as well as to see their beyond-impressive collection of chess sets from around the world. While I don’t profess to be a chess whiz or even know the difference between a rook and a pawn, I can admire great workmanship and gorgeous detailing. And I can definitely admire some fantastic chile-cheese casserole 😉
Kay made her chile cheese casserole following the recipe from “Seasoned with Sun,” the El Paso Junior League cookbook. Pretty much everyone in El Paso has a version of this cookbook…except for me. And now I am on a quest for an original copy (anyone, anyone?). With the casserole, she served a bowl of delicious fresh fruit, black olives, yummy whole wheat buns, and brownies. The perfect cold-weather brunch meal, with great company.
While I don’t have on hand the Junior League version of this classic El Paso brunch staple (which I fully intend to make for brunch Christmas Day, if I am still carrying this BIG bun in the oven ;-)), here’s a decent substitute and a great addition to any holiday meal:

INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup melted butter
10 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1 lb. shredded monterey jack cheese
3 (4-ounce) cans whole green chiles, preferably Hatch
1 pint small curd cottage cheese
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:
Whisk eggs in a large bowl.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk to combine.
Add all remaining ingredients. Stir well.
Pour into 9×13 sprayed casserole dish.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350.
Continue to bake 35-40 minutes
Serve cut into squares.

•••

It’s Saturday morning, and three more hours until the Christkindlmarkt at the Deutsches Soldatenstube at Fort Bliss opens (I’m going early anyway, in the hopes they JUST MIGHT let me in a few minutes early. After all, it’s like Black Friday for foodies and lovers of all things German!) To kill time, I’ve started my holiday baking. I just finished some chewy brownies filled with white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, almonds and peanuts; and now in the oven is some holiday breakfast bread, made with bread flour, molasses, milk, eggs, butter, salt, sugar, almonds, cranberries, cinnamon and nutmeg. As I always do when I bake, I go into it knowing full well I may have to stop by the International Bakery and Deli to pick up not-so-homemade replacements, lol. Pictures, if I dare, on my next post.

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