A curious thing happened a few days after my Mango Chicken Chili recipe appeared in this column a few months back.
The chili recipe included mango salsa as a key ingredient. Figuring this might not be a regular grocery list item for many readers, I mentioned two reliable brands. Several days later, I received an appreciative email from one of those companies—Mrs. Renfro’s Salsa. I was amazed that they noticed this minor mention.
As a thank you, Jane, from Mrs. Renfro’s Salsa, kindly offered to send me several jars of salsa, and invited me to select whatever appealed to me from their online store. I, in turn, asked if she might also be willing to pass along the thoughtful gift to a lucky reader, to which she generously agreed…times three.
When I clicked over to the company website to claim my goodies, something caught my eye—a recipe for Mexican fudge. The unexpected ingredient list replaced sweet staples such as sugar and chocolate for savory additions like cheese and salsa. I was intrigued.
This easy, three-ingredient appetizer was, indeed, a success. When I brought a batch to a small get-together, I had immediate requests for the recipe. Everyone was surprised by the unique combination, and several remarked that a plateful of these tasty bites would make for crowd-pleasing Super Bowl fare.
I modified the original recipe slightly by reducing the amount of cheese and trying it with a combination of regular and low-fat cheese. This change eliminated any greasiness that can occur when cheese is baked, yet it did not detract from the flavor.
Yields 32-40 pieces.
- 1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 cups grated reduced fat cheddar cheese (see notes)
- 4 ounces (1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon) Mrs. Renfro's Green Salsa
- 3 eggs, well beaten
- Optional for serving: tortilla chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Sprinkle 3/4 cup (half) of each cheese over the bottom of a 9x9 or 11x7 baking dish. (There is no need to grease the dish.) Beat or whisk the eggs in a small bowl, and then thoroughly mix in the salsa.
- Drizzle the egg/salsa mixture evenly over cheese. Layer the remaining cheese on top.
- Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until the mixture is just set in the middle and the edges are a little crispy. Cool for 5-10 minutes. Cut in small squares and serve on tortilla chips. Gently reheat leftovers in the oven or toaster oven, if desired.
- As mentioned above, the combination of reduced fat and regular cheese provides the right texture without the greasiness that sometimes occurs when cheese is baked. If desired, you may use all regular cheddar cheese. For testing purposes, I used Sargento, an all-natural cheese, with excellent results. For a flavor variation, we also enjoyed this recipe with a combination of cheddar and Mexican blend cheese.
For more easy, cheesy appetizers…
Mrs. Renfro’s Salsa has kindly offered to give 4 jars of salsa to each of 3 lucky readers. Winners may choose from any of the varieties in their online store. To enter, simply leave a comment below the following recipe. You have until Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 6:00 pm EST to enter. Good luck…and enjoy these delicious mouthfuls!