Inca Festival Bread
by Tony van Roon

8 Tbs butter
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
8 oz. can cream style corn
1-1/4 cups water ground cornmeal (white)
10 oz. sharp cheddar cheese ---- 1/4 cup coarsely grated
remainder cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup coarsely chopped hot chilies, fresh or canned
4 oz. can whole-sweet red pimentos, roasted 1/2 cut into long strips
other 1/2 coarsely chunked
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

In a small saucepan, melt 6 Tbsp. butter over low heat. Do not brown. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Put remaining 2 Tbsp. butter into an 8 inch diameter baking casserole; heat in oven no more than 4 to 5 minutes to avoid browning butter. Rotate and tilt casserole to coat inside. Set aside.

In large mixing bowl, beat milk and eggs. Smoothly blend 1 cup white cornmeal, melted butter, corn, diced cheese, chillies, chopped red pimento, baking soda, salt. Mix thoroughly. It should have the consistency of southern cornbread, moderately runny but not down right liquid. If it seems to runny work in 1 or 2 tbsp. white cornmeal. Give butter in casserole a final swizzle, then pour in batter, smoothing it level. Sprinkle grated cheese over top and decorate with pimento strips. Do not cover. Place casserole, exactly in center of oven. Bake until a knife lightly pushed in center comes out clean and dry- usually 40 to 50 minutes. Serve at once. Cut into fairly thin, pie - shaped wedges. (You can let the bread cool to room temperature.) It stores well tightly wrapped in the refrigerator, but it is best not to serve it cold. One loaf makes about 8 servings.
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