Saturday, January 29, 2011

Yummy Cornbread Recipe

This recipe is a kind of compromise between sickly sweet, fluffy, almost cake-like cornbreads and those more savory but dense-as-a-brick cornbreads. A little fluffy, but not so much that it overpowers the texture of the cornmeal, a little sweet, a lot delicious. As a bonus, it’s also vegan, unless you have a problem with sugar, in which case you could easily substitute your preferred sweetener. If you’re iffy about the cayenne, I urge you to give a shot- it doesn’t add a lot, taste-wise, but it gives it a little bit of an afterburner effect that I find complements the sweet, cornmeal-y goodness perfectly. 
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
3 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoon sugar
Pinch salt
Pinch cayenne powder
1 cup water
¼ cup canola oil
Mix dry, add wet, bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Try not to burn tongue devouring it before it’s cooled. 

Curry Cunundrum, Part Duex

I’ll be honest. I don’t think we’re going to be able to eat this three nights in a row, no matter what I do with it. And we actually have quite a few other leftovers in the fridge to get through. So I’ve frozen the remaining curry, but next time we need some curry in a hurry, I plan on turning the last leftovers into curry patties. This particular curry is already pretty mushy. If you’re working with a chunkier variety, use a potato masher to make it patty-ready. If need be, add leftover lentils, potatoes, rice, or breadcrumbs to add bulk.

 And that's how I take a so-so dish and re-vamp is so the leftovers are not only edible, but stuff-your-face worthy. What are your leftover magic tricks?
·   Defrost leftover curry. Mix with flour, adding a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is cohesive enough to form into patties.
·   In a separate bowl, mix ½ cup cornmeal with salt and pepper. Coat patties in cornmeal mixture.
·   Pan fry until golden brown and delicious.
·   Top with Greek yogurt or sour cream. Serve with lentils and a big salad. Or serve on a bun and call it a veggie burger.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Curry Conundrum

Last night I made curry for dinner. This was no surprise- my appetite for Indian is insatiable, and curry is a great way to use up extra vegetables you might have lying around. Plus it goes great with rice, which my husband would be happy to eat every night of the week if I’d let him. What was noteworthy about last night was the fact that I actually used a recipe. Outside of baking, I rarely use recipes- I’m much more of a “throw a bunch of crap together, and if it tastes like crap, add some more cheese” kind of girl. But last week, on a whim, I followed a recipe, and, lo and behold, the results were delicious. So I thought there might actually be something to this whole recipe thing, and decided to try it again with last night’s curry. Sadly, the results were less than stellar, and, while edible, it’s not a recipe I will make again. Which is unfortunate, because there’s enough of it left over to feed a small army. Fortunately, husband and I eat like a medium-sized army, so we can probably finish it in two nights of leftovers. The question is, how can I change it up enough so that our taste buds don’t commit suicide from being force-fed the same so-so mush three nights in a row? For the first night of leftovers, I chose to jazz it up with some butter and breadcrumbs.

Leftovers- Night 1: Freshly made, most curries are slightly soupy, all the better for pouring over rice, potatoes, or directly into your mouth via funnel. After sitting overnight, however, the dish thickens into more of a gravy, making it perfect for that classic leftover dish, the casserole.
·         Dump leftover curry in a casserole dish. I like using tiny individual dishes, because everything tastes better when made in individual portions.
·         Melt a tablespoon of butter or margarine in the microwave.
·         Add 1/3 cup of breadcrumbs. Mix together.
·         Season with salt, pepper, and whatever else strikes your fancy. My go-to is paprika and a touch of cayenne, but garam masala, cumin, and chili powder would also be tasty here.
·         Bake at 350 until curry warms through and topping gets crispy.
·         On especially distasteful dishes, add an unhealthy serving of cheese to the breadcrumb mixture. 
·         Serve with rice and Indian-spiced deep fried zucchini coins. Yum.

Tomorrow I'll share my leftovers, take two, ideas!