Tuesday, November 29, 2011

White Cheddar Spoon Bread

Spoon Bread is a Southern "comfort food" and for sure more popular in the South than here in Utah. I'd never tried it until I made it on my own. It's beautiful and easy and delicious. I did a little research and made my own recipe, after reading several others. It's base is cornmeal so it truly does resemble bread and polenta. I added white cheddar to my version and am pleased with the results. I'm a huge fan of polenta so I knew I would probably love this dish. I also like warm comfort foods and souffles (I read this dish described as "cornbread souffle"... love that!). Be patient. There are a few steps and you can't walk away from the cooking process here. I am going to deliver as basic a process as possible. Try it. My family gobbled it up and it makes a really pretty accompaniment to a holiday meal.

White Cheddar Spoon Bread (Spoonbread)

1 1/2C cornmeal (yellow or white)
1T sugar
1 1/2t salt
2C whole milk
1C half & half
4T butter
4 eggs (separated)
2t baking powder
1C grated white cheddar

heat your oven to 350. Butter a souffle dish. In a small bowl, combine the cornmeal, sugar and salt. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a boil and heat to near scalding then remove from heat and whisk in the cornmeal mixture. Separate the eggs. Return to heat and stir the butter in, with a rubber spatula, until completely melted. Add the baking powder. Temper the egg yolk mixture by adding 1/4 cup of the cornmeal mixture and combining then an additional 1/4 cup and combining. Add the tempered egg yolk mixture to the rest of the cornmeal and turn the heat off once more. stir the cheese in and continue to stir until completely combined. With a handheld beater, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form then fold them into the cornmeal mixture with the rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared souffle dish and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to "sink" at the table. Serve by "spooning" onto serving plates.

*The spoon bread should rise above the rim of the dish, while baking, then sink in the center, when removed from heat. The same way a souffle would.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pumpkin Cranberry Yeast Bread

I started making this bread 3 years ago for Thanksgiving breakfast. It's totally scrumptious and I can guarantee you'll be hooked your first try. No one wants a heavy breakfast Thanksgiving morning so this bread is perfect. It makes an amazing toast so... I truly recommend it that way. I make it in a bundt, then slice it thick, toast it, slather it with unsalted butter and sprinkle it with a light dusting of cinnamon/sugar. Happy Thanksgiving! I pray your day is safe and blessed and filled with people you love, traditions you cherish and food you want!

Pumpkin Cranberry Yeast Bread

1C milk
1C dried cranberries

Heat the milk to just under the boiling point (where tiny bubbles form around the outside edge but the milk does not boil). Turn off the heat and add the cranberries. Soak for 15 minutes.

1C pumpkin
1/4C honey
1 egg

Combine in a stand mixer then add the milk mixture and mix well. Add the following:

2 1/4t yeast
5C bread flour (1C at a time)
2C milk
1t cinnamon
1t allspice
1/2t nutmeg

Combine completely and allow to rise, in the bowl, for one hour.

Spray your pan (any pan works, I use a bundt) with non-stick spray then sprinkle the pan with sugar. Pour the batter in and smooth out with wet fingertips. Allow to rise another hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350.

Once risen, bake the bread for 15-20 minutes. Cool briefly then invert onto a rack and cool completely.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

I made this dressing over the summer but never posted it because it wasn't quite right. Something was off but then my best friend brought me some tomatillos from her garden and I decided to try it again. I'm not sure what I did different but this is it! It's such a fantastic salad dressing. I served it with fish tacos and it was perfect. You will seriously love this dressing and the great part is, tomatillos are available year round so you can make it anytime!

Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

8-10 tomatillos (peeled and scrubbed well)
1/2 jalapeno
5 limes (juiced)
1 avocado
1/2C sour cream
1 clove garlic (minced)
2t salt
freshly ground black pepper
*reserved cooking water

Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil and boil the tomatillos for 10 minutes (till very soft). Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the jalapeno, lime juice, avocado, sour cream, garlic and salt and pepper. Add the soft tomatillos and blend well.

*Reserve some cooking water and add to the dressing, if needed, to thin it out.

Chill and serve. This dressing makes quite a lot and will freeze nicely for up to 2 months.