Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Hey everyone! I have just returned from an amazing two week trip to Utah and then Chicago. Before we left we were trying to eat all of the perishable items in our fridge that would go bad before we got back. We were finishing up the leftovers of Canice's Black Bean Soup and wanted some cornbread as a side. I remembered seeing a thread that Bob from the Cooking Light BB started on the Cornbread Gospels by Crescent Dragonwagon....could that name possible escape your mind? The first recipe that Bob suggested, Carroll's Extra-Moist Cornbread, seemed simple and I had most of the ingredients on hand so I went to work.
Carroll's Extra-Moist Cornbread
(The Cornbread Gospels; Crescent Dragonwagon)
Makes 9 squares
vegetable oil spray
1 cup reduced fat sour cream (or full-fat, if you prefer)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 mild vegetable oil
1 cup canned cream corn
1 cup stone ground yellow cornmeal
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1-1/2 tsps. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray an 8" baking pan with the oil.
2. Place the sour cream in a large bowl and whisk in the baking soda to activate it. Then whisk in the oil, eggs, and creamed corn. When thoroughly combined, sprinkle the cornmeal over the top.
3. Combine the cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a small dish, and sift over the cornmeal. Stir the whole thing together with as few strokes as possible, just to combine wet and dry.
4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Let it sit at room temperature for 20 minutes, then pop it into the oven until golden brown, about 40 minutes.
I have not experimented with tons of cornbread recipes in my time, but Carroll's Extra-Moist Cornbread from the Cornbread Gospels was awesome. Because we were trying to use some things up from the fridge and didn't want to purchase anything new, I made a few changes. We had a half cup of reduced fat sour cream so to complete the full cup requirement I added some fat free Greek yogurt. I only buy creamed corn for specific recipes so I made my own using some skim milk, frozen corn and corn starch. Surprisingly, the creamed corn turned out well, I did over salt it a bit, so the end result was a bit salty, but if you know me, that is OK! The cornbread turned out light, which I prefer to the dense, cakey cornbreads that I have come across. Terry didn't seem to notice the extra salt and proceeded to eat almost the entire batch of cornbread, I would say that it was a winner, and we will make this again in the future, thanks Bob!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Whoo-Hoo!! Another reason to use the Cuisinart Griddler that I just had to have, yet find myself using very rarely... Because I have developed an obsession with the Garlic Flatbread with Smoked Mozzarella and Tomato Vinaigrette recipe, I decided to try my hand a some versatile flatbread that can be used for anything. My friend Susan from the CLBB suggested this Flatbread for Sandwiches recipe. She is an awesome Mom of grown boys and often makes large batches of these flatbreads for them so that they can throw something together on the go and aren't spending an arm and a leg eating out.
Flatbread for Sandwiches
Adapted from arabic-bites.blogspot.com
Makes 16 flat breads
2 cups white whole wheat flour
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs instant yeast
1 tbs sugar
2 cups warm water
Place all ingredients in bowl of mixer. Using the dough hook and starting on low mix until the dough is cohesive. Increase mixer to 2 and knead for 10 minutes. It will be a soft dough.
Oil a bowl and place the dough in the bowl turning to coat with oil. You may need to oil your hands first. Cover and let rise until double, 30-45 minutes.
Divide into 16 pieces and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Roll out each piece to an 8" diameter round. Dough will be soft and not be perfectly round once you transfer to a hot griddle or cast iron skillet. Brown on both sides.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Growing up I was never a big fan of beans. I can't say exactly why, but aside for the occasional consumption of some baked beans at a BBQ I pretty much steered clear. As I have gotten older and have made it a priority to understand healthy eating the value of the bean has taken on a whole new meaning to me. Black beans are by far my favorite, I like to throw them into almost anything Mexican, as well as salads and soups. When I came across a recipe posted by my friend Canice for Black Bean Soup on the Cooking Light BB I decided to try it out and let the black bean take center stage. I highly regard Canice's recipes and ideas about food, and she did not let me down. Canice's Black Bean Soup is really amazing. I have made it many times before and thought it would be the perfect thing to serve for lunch to my friend Megan, who just had her little boy Mike three months ago and to my friend Christy, who is expecting her first little boy in about two months. Both mommies absolutely loved it. Thanks for an awesome recipe Canice!!
Canice's Black Bean Soup
Recipe by Canice, she says "Normal people like to purée part of their black bean soup for a rounder base. In this recipe I'd use the immersion blender for that effect."
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 strips bacon, cut into 1/4" slices
1 small-medium onion, diced
1 small-medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 large red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, cut into 1/4" slices
1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/8 tsp.cayenne powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1 bay leaf
3 cups chicken broth
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. dark molasses
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp. vegetable oil
4 ounces andouille sausage, cut into 1/8 inch slices
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sliced bacon and cook until fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Add onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, and salt, and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Mix in chili powder, cayenne powder, ground cumin, oregano, basil, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1-2 minutes more. Add chicken broth, black beans, and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Stir in molasses and vinegar and reduce heat: let simmer, partially covered, 45 minutes, adding a little water if necessary to maintain desired consistency.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp. vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add andouille slices. Cook 3 minutes, to render fat and crisp sausage. Turn once and cook an additional 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Chop if desired, or leave slices whole. After soup has simmered 45 minutes, add andouille and simmer an additional 15 minutes.
Serve hot with toppings such as:
Sliced green onions
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Usually I serve Canice's Black Bean Soup with corn bread, but I was dying to have my friends sample the recipe from my previous post, Garlic Flatbreads with Smoked Mozzarela and Tomato Vinaigrette so I served that as an appetizer. Canice's soup stole the show, however, both mommies were absolutely raving about it. It has a very deep, complex flavor, I hope someday I will be able to develop a recipe like this (Canice, you have some skills girl!) I replaced the andoulli sausage with turkey smoked sausage and garnished with sour cream and tomatoes. This recipe is a favorite in our home and will be made many more times. Tonight we will be enjoying the leftovers for dinner, probably with some corn bread!
Friday, July 3, 2009
Bread baking is one of my new hobbies, and I have been wanting to try to make flatbread for some time now. While leafing through the September 2005 issue of Cooking Light I found their recipe for Garlic Flatbreads with Smoked Mozzarella and Tomato Vinaigrette. I also have a passion for tomatoes, so this recipe grabbed me on several levels. Last night I went to my BF Christy's house for dinner. She and her husband Stephen (Terry's BF) were taking off in the morning for a family vacation. She gave me her new container of organic Roma tomatoes, fearing they would go bad before their return. Having all of the ingredients, and nothing else to do for the rest of the day once I was done working out at 10:30, I decided that this recipe would be on our lunch menu. (Have I mentioned how much I love summer break?)
Garlic Flatbreads with Smoked Mozzarella and Tomato Vinaigrette
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (about 1 ounce)
1 cup warm water (100° to 110°), divided
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided (about 10 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornmeal
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 cup halved red cherry tomatoes (about 4 ounces)
3/4 cup halved yellow cherry tomatoes (about 4 ounces)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
To prepare flatbreads, lightly spoon whole wheat flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup water, and yeast in a bowl; let stand 10 minutes.
Lightly spoon all-purpose flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 3/4 cup water in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture, and stir until a dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel sticky). Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.)
Preheat oven to 450°.
Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 9-inch circle on a lightly floured surface; place on baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal. Lightly coat dough with cooking spray. Sprinkle dough evenly with sliced garlic; press garlic into dough using fingertips. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until crisp and garlic begins to brown. Remove flatbreads from oven; cool on wire racks.
To prepare topping, combine vinegar, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and minced garlic in a medium bowl. Add tomatoes; toss gently.
Sprinkle each flatbread with 1/2 cup cheese; broil flatbreads 1 minute or until cheese melts. Remove from oven; top each flatbread with half of tomato mixture. Sprinkle each flatbread with 1/4 cup basil. Cut each flatbread into 6 equal wedges.
Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 1 wedge)
CALORIES 139 (27% from fat); FAT 4.1g (sat 1.3g,mono 2.1g,poly 0.4g); IRON 1.4mg; CHOLESTEROL 5mg; CALCIUM 73mg; CARBOHYDRATE 20.2g; SODIUM 194mg; PROTEIN 5.3g; FIBER 1.3g
Cooking Light, SEPTEMBER 2005
Every once in a while I eat something that I am absolutely floored by...Garlic Flatbreads with Smoked Mozzarella and Tomato Vinaigrette is officially my favorite recipe of the summer. It literally tastes like summer! Fresh tomatoes and basil, savory garlic, sweet balsamic vinegar...it almost leaves me speachless. This recipe seems to have a bunch of steps, which a year ago would have intimidated me, but this recipe is totally do-able. As I mentioned above I used organic Romas instead of the cherry tomatoes because I had them on hand. I also used a full 2 cups of the chopped, seeded tomatoes. I didn't have any smoked mozzarella, so I just used regular mozzarella. Rolling out dough is something I have a lot to learn about so what were supposed to be 9 inch rounds turned into rectangles. Terry and I almost finished the entire recipe in one sitting! The flatbread was crisp and held the toppings well, it tasted great warm fresh from the oven as well as at room temperature later in the day. The flatbreads alone seem very versitile and could be the base for any pizza toppings. Garlic Flatbreads with Smoked Mozzarella and Tomato Vinaigrette will be made MANY more times this summer. If you try just one of the recipes that I suggest on this blog, this should be the one! Thanks again Cooking Light!