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Notes: From Orange County Registar Advance preparation: Corn bread can be prepared 12 hours in advance. Place rounds in a single layer on a baking sheet. Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Store at room temperature. Reheat in a 350-degree oven for about 8 minutes. Jam can be prepared 3 days in advance and stored, airtight, in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature. Cooks note: Jalapenos vary in their degree of hotness. Make the jam and taste it. If necessary, increase the amount of chilies to suit your taste. I have used as much as 2 tablespoons of minced jalapenos. When working with fresh chilies, wash hands and work surface thoroughly upon completion. Do NOT touch your face or eyes. Preliminaries: Fifteen minutes before baking corn bread, preheat oven to 400 degrees. 1. Prepare the corn bread: In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process cornmeal, flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, caraway seeds and salt until blended, about 20 seconds. Add cold butter and pulse until mixture resembles course meal. Add 2 tablespoons room temperature butter or bacon drippings and pulse until just blended. Transfer mixture to a large bowl. 2. Place empty 9-by-13-inch baking pan in oven. 3. In a small bowl, combine egg yolks and buttermilk. Pour into cornmeal mix ture and stir to blend. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites with 1 tablespoon sugar until stiff and glossy. Fold into cornmeal mixture in 2 additions. 4. Remove baking pan from oven and brush with 1 tablespoon melted butter or bacon drippings. Pour batter into pan and bake in preheated oven for about 14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. 5. Transfer to a wire rack and cool slightly. Loosen edges with a sharp knife and invert on cutting board. Using a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut corn bread into rounds. 6. Prepare the jam: In a small skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Drain on paper towel, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings. 7. Combine dried apricots and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to boil; boil until water evaporates, about 8 minutes. Add jam and 1 tablespoon drippings. Cook, stirring frequently, unti jam dissolves. Add bacon and jalapenos. Cool to room temperature. Presentation: Top each corn bread round with a dollop of jam. Garnish with fresh chives and arrange on platter. Yield: 35-40 rounds Nutritional information (per round): 79 calories, 3 grams fat, 1.6 grams saturated fat, 18 milligrams cholesterol, 136 milligrams sodium, 34 percent calories from fat Source: adapted from "Bon Appetit -- Entertaining With Style"
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