• Corn Pones & Chile Cheese Dip


Corn Pones & Chile Cheese Dip

By Andrew Zimmern

These simple fritters are basically rustic fried cornbread bites, taken to the next level when dipped into homemade cheese whiz infused with roasted chiles. For a smooth sauce, be sure to buy good cheese and grate it yourself. This is the perfect chow for lazing around watching basketball in the upcoming weeks.

Corn Pones & Chile Cheese Dip


The Dip

  • 1 peeled garlic clove, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 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
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1 cup green chiles, roasted and minced green chiles (Hatch chiles or poblanos work well)
  • 2 tablespoons tequila
  • Salt, to taste

Corn Pones

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 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


For the Chile Cheese Dip

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.

For the Corn Pones

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.

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