Recipe: Andrew Zimmern's Corn Pones and Chile Cheese Dip

Make Andrew Zimmern's cornmeal cakes with a spicy chile cheese dip, inspired by his travels in Texas for Bizarre Foods.

What's a corn pone, you ask? Its origins date back to the days of soldiers and colonists in the South making due with what they had on hand in the field: cornmeal, water, grease, salt. The batter is formed into patties and deep fried to a golden crisp, making for a scrumptious snack still beloved by southerners alike today. 

After trying corn pones for himself while exploring cowboy culture for an episode of Bizarre Foods in Texas, Andrew Zimmern decided to whip up a recipe of his own, with an added bonus: homemade chile cheese dip. See the video and instructions below to try it yourself. 

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Andrew Zimmern's Corn Pones and Cheese Dip 03:04

Andrew makes corn fritters inspired by his time on a Texas cowboy trail.

CORN PONES — INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon salt
2 cups yellow corn meal
2 tablespoons jalapenos, roasted and minced
4 tablespoons onions, finely minced
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 to 2 tablespoons water
1 cup rendered bacon fat

CORN PONES — INSTRUCTIONS

Whisk the salt into the cornmeal. Add the roasted jalapenos, onions and buttermilk. Stir to combine. Add water a tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency.

Place bacon fat in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Form the corn pone patties, you want them to be about ½-inch thick. Fry them in the bacon fat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and serve with the cheese dip. 

THE DIP — INGREDIENTS

1 peeled garlic clove, smashed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup beer
White pepper
4 teaspoons cornstarch
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
8 ounces Cheddar cheese, grated
3 ounces Pepper Jack cheese, grated
1 tablespoon chile powder
½ tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, minced
1 cup roasted and minced green chiles (Hatch chiles or poblanos work well)
2 tablespoons tequila
Salt, to taste

THE DIP — INSTRUCTIONS

Place the garlic, lemon juice, beer, a pinch of white pepper and cornstarch in a sturdy pot over medium heat and whisk until smooth.

Add the cheeses in 3 batches, being careful not to boil the cheese. Be sure the cheese is fully melted and incorporated before moving on to the next batch.

Add the chile powder, cumin, oregano, chipotle in adobo and roasted green chiles. Season with salt, then whisk in the tequila. Serve hot with the corn pones.

Recipe compliments of Andrew Zimmern. Visit AndrewZimmern.com for more recipes like this.  

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