Southern Taco Soup, Mexican Cornbread and Coconut Chess Pie

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By Andy Bedwell

Southern Taco Soup

2 pounds ground chuck

1 large onion, chopped

(Brown both of these

together and drain)

1 can Rotel tomatoes

2 large cans of tomatoes

1 can white shoe

peg corn, drained

1 can yellow

whole corn, drained

1 can chili beans

1 can pinto beans

1 package taco mix

1 package Hidden Valley ranch dressing

3 tablespoons sugar

(very important; adds to the tartness of the tomatoes)

2 tablespoons

Worcestershire sauce

1 cup ketchup

Black pepper

Mix all of this together, then add three cups of water and simmer for three to four hours.

Andy’s Note: I never put this in a crock pot because they never seem large enough. This soup needs plenty of room to simmer. Taco soup has always seemed too thick. My recipe is really more of a thinner soup and the water keeps it from being so strong. Hope you enjoy it as much as we have through the years. After two days of soup, freeze the remainder in quart freezer bags. It is so wonderful to open your freezer and see those beautiful bags of soup when you do not have a clue of what to have for dinner. I grill Doug a pepperjack cheese sandwich with his smoking hot bowl of taco soup.

Mexican Cornbread

2 cups self-rising cornmeal

2 eggs

½ cup Parmesan cheese (the kind you sprinkle on spaghetti)

Pimento, medium jar (drained and mashed

with a fork)

1 ¼ cup milk

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small can of

cream style corn

3 jalapeno peppers, chopped with the seeds

¾ cup Crisco oil

Mix ingredients together and pour into a greased and hot iron skillet. A 9×13-inch pan can be used and cut into squares. Bake at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes or until brown on top. This bread to be good and done. This recipe is also good in muffin pans browned all around. Yummy!

Andy’s Note: I have to say this is a Bedwell/Fielder/McCleskey family favorite. Mary and Dale have always loved for me to make this recipe. I think it is also Goodyear’s favorite!

Coconut Chess Pie

3 eggs beaten

1 teaspoon cornmeal

1 teaspoon flour

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 ½ cups sugar

1 stick of margarine

1 small can coconut

(1½ cups)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Unbaked deep-dish

pie shell

Put ingredients in a saucepan and mix well. Cook over low heat until margarine is melted. Do not scorch! Pour mixture in the unbaked pie crust. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour.

Andy’s Note: I love to bake chess pies for the following reasons: they are a one-bowl pie (which makes them easy to bake); they have ingredients that you nearly always have in your cabinet; they are easy to transport and fit perfectly in a gallon zip-lock bag, they are somewhat pretty if drizzled with white almond bark and candied cherries; and – most of all – they are delicious! I hope all of you will try my little chess pies. They are so cute and sweet!

So many Southerners count old family recipes among their blessings. These three are a few of my little blessings.

Roll Tide and War Eagle!

Happy fall cooking, Andy

“Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell” can be purchased at The Messenger newspaper located at 1957 Rainbow Drive.

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