Sunday, January 27, 2013

Perfect dish for a cold evening


Dixie is not exempt from those cold winter evenings. Seems like everywhere this week, the temperatures have plummeted and snow and ice hit the deep South. What could be better for this weather than hearty vegetable soup and my family's favorite style of cornbread - cheesy, jalapeno cornbread. This will definitely be on the menu for Superbowl Sunday!

Cooking even a simple meal is made so much easier with the right equipment. We do a lot of cooking classes and the one thing I always tell our participants is that tools make it easy. Most of our classes are women and they are the worst about updating their kitchen tools. Their husbands may have 10 different screwdrivers - each for a different job. Women may have 2 knives or the same set of pots and pans they had 20 years ago! I am not one who is big on gadgets, but the right tool for the job is essential.

Which brings me to Le Creuset. Everyone should have at least two of these wonderful pans: a dutch oven and a skillet. All Southern cooks will extol the virtues of a cast iron pan, handed down from Grandma, but unless you have a perfectly seasoned cast iron - nothing beats Le Creuset cast iron.




Cheesy Jalepeno Cornbread

3 TBS BUTTER


Preheat oven to 350 (or 325 with convection, my preference)
Melt butter in iron skillet in oven


Mix the following ingredients till blended:
1 CUP YELLOW CORNMEAL
1 CUP CREAMED CORN
3 TSP BAKING POWDER
1 TSP SALT
2 TBS DICED JALEPENO (I use Mtl Olive Jar)
2/3 CUP VEGETABLE OIL
2 EGGS beaten
1 CUP SHREDDED CHEDDAR CHEESE
8 OZ SOUR CREAM
1 MED ONION, diced
2 MED GARLIC CLOVES, crushed



pour into hot skillet and set on rack in middle of oven.






Bake for approx. 45 - 50 or until set and edges begin to lightly brown.



Let set for just a few minutes and turn out onto flat surface:


Look how perfectly the hot cast iron crisped the bottom of this cornbread (steam still rising)
Slice and serve with hearty homemade vegetable soup!!


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