Thursday, January 22, 2009


Firecracker Cornbread Recipe

3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
3/4 cup instant cornmeal (or instant polenta) or fine-grain cornmeal
1/4 cup natural cane sugar (or brown sugar)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
1 cup buttermilk (or milk)
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups corn, fresh (or at room temperature if previously frozen)

more butter for drizzling (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350F degrees, with a rack in the middle.

Just before you make the batter, in a small saucepan, melt the butter, stir in the red pepper flakes, and pour into a 9-inch pie tin (I have an enameled cast-iron one that is perfect) or equivalent baking dish. Place in the hot oven.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl whisk together the buttermilk, egg, and corn. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until just combined. Now very carefully remove the hot pan with butter from the oven. Fill it with the cornbread batter, pushing the batter out to the sides if needed. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until the edges are golden and the center is just set. Remove and drizzle with a bit of melted butter (optional).

Makes 10 slices.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Wild Rice with Butternut Squash, Leeks, and Corn

Wild Rice with Butternut Squash, Leeks, and Corn
10 Servings
Source: Bon Appetit, November 2008, c/o Jill Ricker

1 1/2 cups Wild Rice (about 9 ounces)
2 tsps coarse kosher salt
3 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled butternut squash (from 1 1/2-lb squash)
3 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) butter, divided (Jill's note: or much less, like 1 tbsp, and it still turns out fine)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped leeks, white part only
1 1/2 cups frozen white corn kernels, thawed (Jill's note: make sure it's small corn)
1 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley

Rinse rice in strainer under cold water; drain. Bring 6 cups water and 2 tsps coarse salt to boil in large saucepan. Add rice; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until rice grains begin to split and are tender but still slightly chewy, and slightly split, about 45 minutes (although it varies). Drain. Spread on rimmed baking sheet to cool. Transfer to bowl. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil rimmed baking sheet. Toss squash cubes and 3 tbsp oil in medium bowl. Spread squash in single layer on prepared sheet; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast just until tender but firm enough to hold shape, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. (Jill's note: cook longer, make sure it's not hard) Transfer squash to bowl. Cool. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Melt 4 tbsp butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and 3/4 cup water; simmer until leeks are tender, about 7 minutes. Add corn; simmer 2 minutes longer. Add rice and butternut squash; simmer until heated through and liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp butter and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve.

Dan's notes:
Sarah suggested more wild rice.