Last week, they had their menus all set when they decided they needed to add something to their appetizer. I was thinking the same thing, but it's a STUDENT run competition, so I try to just give nudges in the right direction while letting them have the decision rights, which is sometimes difficult for me to do, but makes it really a student competition instead of the teacher's best dishes going up against each other. They were thinking something crunchy to go with their soup shooters (more on those another day) and they came across this recipe idea from Paula Deen. I get really nervous when they randomly search the internet for ideas, because although there are many good ones, anyone can post anything (yep, this blog is no exception, although I only post things I would want to make again) and I don't want to waste money on ingredients. Thankfully, these were delicious! We had to adapt them some since okra wasn't available in the store. After finding them from Paula, they searched the internet for other people who had made them and Annie from Annie's Eats had a beautiful picture. After combining ideas from both women, they're the perfect accompaniment to the soup and I'm proud of them for adding them to their menu!
Jalapeno cornmeal cakes with roasted tomatoesmakes 10 small cakes
~1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved and seeded (just give 'em a squeeze)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
1/4 egg (beat a whole egg, then just use 1/4 of it)
~1/2 cup water
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
oil for frying
cotija or goat cheese for serving
To roast tomatoes (since the kids can only use two butane burners and no ovens), heat small saute pan over medium heat and toss tomatoes on. Cook for about four minutes, or until skin is blistered and slightly blackened, stirring occasionally.
For the cakes, combine the cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the egg and water. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until combined. Fold in jalapeno and garlic. Let stand while oil heats. Cornmeal will soak up water. Adjust water/cornmeal as needed for a consistency you can form into a shape to drop in skillet.
Heat 1/2 inch oil in small saute pan. Drop cakes in desired shapes into oil and cook for about 1 minute on each side, until golden brown. Remove to paper towel lined plate.
Top with cheese and roasted tomatoes and serve.
Adapted from Paula Deen and Annie's Eats