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$500 Winner: Savory Category

Katherine Titterington | Rusk County EC

The hearty Texas flavors of bacon, green salsa and tomatillos create a breakfast pie that’s easy to love—and transport—to holiday parties. “We love breakfast tacos, but they’re hard to take to potlucks,” Titterington says. “I created this dish because it’s easy to prepare ahead of time. The crust is really interesting, kind of like a nutty tamale.” In true Texas spirit, Titterington arranges five pecan halves on top to resemble a star.

2 cups masa harina (see note)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup rendered bacon fat
1 cup water
1 cup ground Texas pecans

8–10 tomatillos, husked, rinsed and thinly sliced
1/2 small white onion, diced
1 package thick-cut bacon (12 ounces), cooked and crumbled
1 cup Texas pecans, coarsely chopped (reserve 5 halves)
2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese, divided use
4 large eggs
1/2 cup green salsa

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. CRUST: Combine the masa and salt in a large mixing bowl. Use your fingers or a fork to cut the bacon fat into the flour until the mixture looks sandy. Stir in the water and ground pecans until the mixture forms a ball. (Alternately, you can grind the pecans in a food processor, add the masa and salt and pulse to blend, then pulse in the bacon fat and then water until the mixture pulls together into a dough.)

3. Press the dough evenly into an ungreased 9- or 10-inch glass deep-dish pie pan to form a crust.

4. FILLING: Layer the tomatillos, onion, bacon, chopped pecans and half the cheese into the crust. Make the top layer tomatillos and pecans only. Using a fork, beat to-gether the eggs and green salsa. Carefully pour mixture into the pie, allowing the liquid to be absorbed by the other ingredients.

5. Bake 45 minutes, then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, garnish with the 5 pecan halves and bake an additional 10–15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.

Serves 8-10.

Cook’s Tip

You can substitute vegetable shortening or butter for the bacon fat. Also, pecan- or apple- wood-smoked bacon is preferable for this recipe.

About Masa

Spanish for “dough,” masa is used to make corn tortillas and tamales. Masa harina or “corn flour” is made from dried corn kernels that have been soaked in lime water and ground.