Showing posts with label cornbread. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cornbread. Show all posts

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cornbread Crackers

Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers

So far, my ‘eat more cornbread’ new year’s resolution is going extremely well. With normal cornbread and cornbread waffles coming into a rotation, I’m averaging about once a month. I was recently laid up with the flu and I made a huge pot of ‘All the Veges’ Soup to help me get better. And given that I was laid up with the flu and didn’t want to do anything, I was happier than I normally am to have a frozen mini-loaf still in the freezer ready to slice and make the most amazing crackers to go with the soup. Variations of Alejandra’s Fruit andNut Crisps and the Choc Hazelnut Crackers from Always Order Dessert are a staple for me now, I make up the loaves based on what I have at the time and freeze them, so if people pop in I just toast them in the oven and in 15 minutes I have an amazing homemade snack.

Making the crackers while I was sick, I had a brainwave…they are essentially just a mini loaf of bread (sometimes I eat one loaf as fresh bread), so I should make a version with cornbread. Cornbread crackers was a thought that stuck in my head like a song that I could ‘taste’ and I knew as soon as I felt up to cooking again, I would be making.

For the cracker flavours, I wanted something smokey and spicy, something to pair with the sweetness of cornbread. I added pickled jalapenos, but not having as many as I’d like, I decided to add capers as well for the extra briney kick. Great decision. For me capers are one of those things that I get obsessive about, go through a few jars in a few weeks and then don’t buy them again for a while. I needed them for the Cuban Chicken and Corn Pie, and haven’t looked back. Add some sunflowers for a textural interest and some semi-dried tomatoes for some not-too-sweet sweetness and you have an amazing cornbread.

Freeze the loaves until completely solid (very important!!), slice as thinly and evenly as possible and re-bake and you have the most amazing crackers. Seriously.

Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers

Cornbread Crackers

2 teaspoon cajun spice mix
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 egg, lightly beaten

½ cup grated parmesan
1 tbsp capers
5 sundried tomatoes (not in oil), finely diced
1 tbsp finely diced pickled jalapenos
¼ cup sunflower seeds

Preheat oven to 200C. Grease 3 mini loaf tins

Mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, oregano, spice mix and sugar in a bowl.

Combine buttermilk and egg. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in buttermilk mixture. Stir gently to combine, then stir through the cheese, sundried tomatoes, capers and jalapenos, trying to evenly distribute all the add-ins.

Pour into prepared pans and bake for 20- 25 minutes until golden and spring back when touched. Take out of oven and cool in tins for 5 minutes, then cool on a rack until completely cold.

Individually wrap loaves tightly in cling-wrap and freeze overnight.

When ready to make crackers, preheat the oven to 150C

Using your best knife (I find a ham knife works best), slice the frozen loaves into thin slices, as evenly as possible and place on a cooling rack inside a baking tray. Bake for 10-15 minutes until crisp and golden, watching them so they don’t burn.

Take out of the oven and leave to cool. Then serve with your favourite dip (tzatziki and guacamole work particularly well with these flavours) or as part of a cheese platter. Or as dippers in Avocado Soup!

Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers
Cornbread Crackers

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Resolution Follow Through - Cornbread Waffles

So, remember how making more cornbread was part of my late-recognised New Year’s Resolution? Well, I’m extending the definition of cornbread to include these cornbread waffles. We received a waffle maker as a wedding present, and I don’t use it anywhere near as much as I should do. Waffles are awesome. Sweet and savoury, I love them all. I currently am in love with these specific cornbread waffles. I love the savoury/sweetness that using cornmeal automatically adds. They taste chewy and dense but light and waffly all at once. We don’t really do the savoury waffle thing very much in Australia, but I am a champion of it. So here you’ll see it served with BBQ beef. So. Unbelievably. Good. This makes a pretty big batch. Way too much for the two of us for dinner. I wrapped the remainder in single serve portions of foil and froze them, then toasted them as required in the toaster. I took some down to Molloy for a group getaway and they made the most delicious breakfast with hickory bacon and creamy scrambled eggs. 

Cornbread Waffles1 cups plain flour¾ cup cornmeal 2½ tsp baking powder ½  tsp bicarb soda ½ tsp salt ½ tsp pepper ½ tsp smokey paprika½ tsp sweet paprika 1 cup ricotta 2 large eggs 1 cup milk½ cup water 4 tbsp melted butter 2 tbsps finely chopped herbs (I used parsley, basil and coriander) Butter for the waffle iron Preheat the oven to 150C to keep cooked waffles warm. Whisk together all the dry ingredients in a big bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk the ricotta and eggs until smooth. Add the milk, water and melted butter and stir to combine.
 Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently until no flour remains. Fold in the herbs.
 Heat the waffle iron and brush with melted butter. Add the required amount of waffle batter for your size iron. Mine makes small heartshaped ones, so I only need 2 tbsps or so of mixture per waffle. As you can see in the photos above, I was incredibly messy! Cook 5-8 minutes or until crispy and golden. Remove to a plate and put in the oven to keep warm while you cook the remainder. Serve with BBQ shredded beef and roast tomatoes and grapes. Or bacon and eggs and maple syrup. Or just a drizzle of maple syrup and an extra cracking of pepper

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Satisfying Cravings and (Late) New Year's Resolutions - Basic Cornbread

At the end of the first month of 2014 worked out that my new year’s resolution is to eat more cornbread. I love it so much, but it’s one of those things I forget about. It’s not often on menus in Perth, so it tends to go off my radar as eating it usually equals cooking it myself. But I went to Miss Kitty’s Saloon in Inglewood for brunch with my husband and sister-in-law a few weekends back and the stand-out dish from what we ordered was the steak benedict. Ignoring for a second the delicious jerk potatoes that it came with, the steak benedict was perfectly created. It was a thin marinated skirt steak, with a tart pink peppercorn hollandaise sauce on top of sweet and juicy caramelised onions all on top of the most melt-in-your-mouth buttery cornbread I’ve ever tasted.

I have a recipe for cornbread floating around somewhere that includes bacon and Cajun spices. I’ll try dig that out again now that it’s my new year’s resolution. But in the meantime, I wanted just your basic cornbread. Given that I’ve spent the last month drooling over the Treme cook book I got for Christmas, I thought that’d be the perfect resource for finding cornbread. And I wasn’t wrong. I’ve only made two small adjustments to their recipe. I used buttermilk instead of normal milk – because shouldn’t that always be a thing in southern style baking? I halved the salt and replaced it with a Creole spice mix. And I used olive oil instead of canola oil. Just because I like olive oil.

I served this as a base for the wonderful mushroom sauce that Alejandra from Always Order Dessert posted last year. And voila! Dinner. Just me and my baby.

There’s a recipe for jalapeno cornbread that might need to be tried now.

Oh, and they included Cane Syrup Butter in their cookbook as an accompaniment. Personally, I’m all for Maple Butter. Just whip a tablespoon or so of maple syrup into 50g or so of some delicious room temperature salted butter. I served this with my lemon and olive focaccia and it did not take long to be eaten!

Basic Cornbread
adapted from Treme
1 cup cornmeal plus 2 tbsps
1 cup plain flour
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp. raw sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Creole spice mix
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg
2 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 200C

Grease a skillet or dish that can go in the oven, and place in the oven to warm.

In a large bowl, whisk the 1 cup cornmeal, flour, baking powder, Creole spice mix, salt and sugar. Add the wet ingredients and stir until just well mixed and smooth. Do not overmix.

Remove the hot casserole dish from the oven, sprinkle the extra 2 tbsp. cornmeal over the bottom and cook in the oven for 2 minutes.

Remove from the oven an gently pour the batter over the top of the baked cornmeal. Cook for around 20 minutes until golden on top. Serve immediately.