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- 1 TBS melted lard
- 3 slices coarsely chopped bacon (the thicker & smokier the better; we used bacon from our Snow’s Bend 1/2 hog)
- 1 diced yellow onion
- 2 cups sliced fresh okra, about 1/2-inch thick (use frozen if necessary)
- 2 cups frozen butterbeans
- 1 lb smoked sausage (we used Conecuh Spicy & Hot)
- 2 cups seeded and diced tomatoes (you could peel ’em also, but I’m too lazy)
- 2 cups freshly shaved sweet yellow corn (or use frozen silver queen)
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup chiffonade of sweet basil
Heat the lard in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Do not allow the onions to brown. Increase the heat to high, add the okra and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Reduce heat to medium, add sausage and butter beans, and cook 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and corn and cook an additional 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the butter and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper and add the chiffonade of basil.
It’s winter, the summer vegetables are long gone, and you’re tired of spinach and broccoli. What can you do? Here’s a bit of frozen summer vegetables with the added bonus of sausage. Makes plenty of leftovers for lunch. Delicious with corn bread. Based on a recipe from Epicurious.
- 4 Tbs butter
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 12 oz. andouille, sliced
- 3 cups frozen sweet corn (1 lb.)
- 3 cups frozen baby lima beans (1 lb.)
- 14 oz can diced tomato
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- juice of 1 lime
Sautee onions in butter until soft. Add sausage and frozen veggies. Cook until corn and limas are done, 10-15 mins. Add tomatoes, and simmer 5 more mins. Add parsley and lime, then season to taste with salt & pepper.
I’ve blogged previously that the corn pone is the ne plus ultra of cornbread, and it is. Nonetheless, there is a place in the world for corn muffins. They’re sweeter and fluffier, and they’re better as leftovers. You will need cast iron muffin tins–ask your grandmother or cruise yard sales and thrift stores. Visit antique stores as a last (and costly) resort. They’re critical, though, so do what you must: you’ll need 2, or better yet, 3 of them.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup cornmeal (you can’t go wrong with Pollard’s or other fine, stone-ground meal)
- 3 Tbs sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup milk (you may need to add a little more to get a smooth consistency)
- 3/4 cup oil or shortening
Preheat oven to 425F. When the oven is hot, put the muffin pans in while you mix the batter. Combine the dry ingredients, then mix eggs, oil, and milk, and stir into the batter. Take the muffin pans out (one at a time), grease lightly (cooking spray works well) and put a tablespoon or two of batter into the pans. Repeat with other muffin pans in turn. Bake until golden brown, about 20 mins. Makes 12-18 muffins.
Say what you will about whether corn bread should be sweet or savory, but the apotheosis of cornbread is the corn pone. To make a proper corn pone, though, you’ve got to have the right corn meal. That coarse stuff from the grocery won’t do. You need fine (or better yet, extra-fine) stone ground cornmeal. When we lived in Georgia, we could get Alabama King brand corn meal (made in Tennessee), but now that we’re in Alabama, it’s not available. Go figure. The best corn meal for pones, though, is from J.T. Pollard Milling Co., 3431 N. Highway 123, Hartford, AL 36344, 334-588-3391. They do mail order, but you’ll have to buy a case (and pay more for shipping than for the corn meal!)
To make corn pones, preheat the oven to 425F, Then put 2 cast iron skillets in the oven to preheat while you mix the dough.
Combine 2 cups of corn meal and 2 tsp of salt, then mix in just enough water to make a loose dough (stiffer than pancake batter, looser than bread dough). Take the skillets out of the oven one at a time and add some oil or shortening to the bottom. Then, with wet hands, make small balls of dough and flatten into pones, filling the skillet with about half the dough. Repeat with the other skillet. After about 20 minutes, put a pat of butter on each pone and then cook until golden-brown, about 20 more minutes. Remove from the oven and eat while hot.
Corn pones are sublime when fresh–hot, crispy, and buttery on the outside, creamy and smooth on the inside, and salty throughout. The next day, they’re rubbish. The outside becomes rubbery, and the inside dries out. Eat ’em while they’re hot!
UPDATE! Though fine, stone-ground cornmeal appears to be utterly unavailable in the grocery stores here in Tuscaloosa (Publix has an especially bad cornmeal selection), <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masa”>Masa</a> is available. It’s a fine ground cornmeal used for making tortillas, and may even be better than traditional fine cornmeal because it has <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nixtamalization”>been treated with lime, making the niacin more available</a>. The pones also seem creamier inside, but I haven’t done a side-by-side comparison yet.