Monday, November 30, 2015

cornbread from the box but playing with it...

I make an awesome cornbread from scratch, modifying a Greek dessert recipe, but it is very time consuming, even though it tastes awesome.  If i want something quick, this is what i do.
Corn bread from the box
modifying the box

1.   2 boxes Jiffy corn muffin mix
2.   4 eggs (twice what the box tells you), whipped
        (makes it fluffy and light)
3.   1/3 cup flour
        (adds strength so it does not crumble so easy from the gluten)
4.   1/2 cup milk
       (creaminess)
5.   1/3 cup beer
       (carbonation so it rises more and bitterness)
6.   1 tablespoon raw sugar
7.   12 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
       (adds firmness and the sharp flavor of the cheese)
8.   1/2 cup whole kernel corn (frozen is great, but thaw it first)
       (adds texture)
9.   1 tablespoon hot, green peppers, diced
10.                     1/4 stick of butter, melted
             (adds sweetness and makes everything more moist)
11.                     1/4 cup shelled, roasted pumpkin seeds
             (adds crunch)
12.                     standard large baking dish 9 x 12, greased

pre-heat oven to 400 F
into the dry mix add:
the eggs, milk, beer, sugar, peppers, corn and half of the cheese
mix thoroughly, it should pour into the pan, if not add more beer
top with the remainder of the cheese and the pumpkin seeds
cooked at 400 F for 20 minutes.
turn off the oven and watch carefully for 5 minutes while it is in the oven
do not let it turn dark brown!   The cheese will be dark, but there is a difference between dark and burned.
remove and pour melted butter around the edges and center of the pan
cool and then cut (do not cut while hot!)

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Recipes..what to do?

Ever tried to make a tempting sounding recipe you have found,
only to find following it left you wanting?
Lately, that has been my story...
I tried an apple cake, twice...
the first time following the recipe exactly, the second trying to "fix" it.
Neither came out well.
I cook a mean Pastitsio, but do not follow a recipe and invariably forget to put the eggs in b├ęchamel sauce, so it is not as light and fluffy as it should be, so i found similar recipes and tried to follow the steps presented...twice also.
I was extremely disappointed, again.
Why does it seem that when i do things "on the fly", so to speak, it works and when i try to follow a recipe exactly, it does not?
I know to much...
I know that there is always variability in the flour and that some times more or less must be added, you have to have it look and feel right and recipes can not tell you what experience can.
Sometimes there are misprints, sometimes they are just wrong.
Apples, even using the same variety, will differ in flavor and juiciness.
Sometimes someones flavors are not what you remember from your mother's cooking...that was true in the Pastitsio,  neither recipe i found used allspice, yet that was the secondary spice of choice from my mom and i missed it terribly.

So i am back to doing things as i often do, "off the cuff"  and i will share what i did and hopefully it will come out okay for you.