Saturday, December 26, 2015

Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Cornbread

     Adapted from a recipe I found on the Jiffy company's website, this one bowl cornbread is a fun and filling way to usher in the New Year.  Eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is a Southern tradition that dates back to the Civil War, insuring prosperity and good luck in the upcoming year.  In my 12 inch dutch oven the cornbread baked for a total of 50 minutes with 12 coals around the base of the oven, 18 in a ring around the outside of the lid and 8 coals spaced evenly in the middle.  I omitted the jalapenos but I'm sure they would give it a real kick.  Somewhat like a spoon bread, the creamy peas, melted cheese and creamed corn make this a very moist cornbread.  Serve it with a tossed salad for a light dinner or New Year's Day brunch.  Happy New Year!

Spicy Black-Eyed Pea Cornbread
2 8.5 oz packages 'Jiffy' Corn Muffin Mix
1 lb spicy pork sausage meat, cooked and crumbled
5-6 scallions, chopped
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 8 oz. package Cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)
1 15 oz can black-eyed peas, drained
3/4 cup cream style corn
1 4.5 oz can green chilies, chopped
1/4 cup canned pickled jalapeƱos, chopped and drained

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch dutch oven.
     In large bowl beat eggs, buttermilk and oil.
     Add muffin mix, stirring until mixture is just moistened.
     Batter will be lumpy.
     Stir in sausage, scallions, cheese, black-eyed peas, corn, chilies and jalapenos.
     Pour into prepared dutch oven.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until lightly browned.
     Cool for 15 minutes before cutting into squares.
     Makes 8-10 servings.

Spread batter into well oiled 12 inch dutch oven

Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes

A 'lucky' cornbread chock full of flavor

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Coffee Cake

     This coffee cake from Susan Branch has all the flavors and smells of Christmas morning.  In my 10 inch dutch oven it baked for 40 minutes with 10 coals in a ring around the base of the oven, 13 placed on the outside of the lid with 5 more briquettes spaced evenly in the center.  If you decide to make this in your conventional oven, bake it in an 8 inch square pan.  Loaded with soft apples, crunchy walnuts and tangy cranberries, it's a moist and delicious cake that is perfect for a cold winter's day.  Have a very Merry Christmas and a joyous holiday season!

Christmas Coffee Cake
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups cored, peeled, chopped apple (2 apples)
1 cup fresh cranberries, chopped
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
powdered sugar for dusting

     Lightly oil or spray 10 inch dutch oven; line with parchment paper.
     Sift together flour, soda and salt; set aside.
     Combine remaining ingredients and mix well.
     Stir in flour mixture.
     Spread in prepared oven.
     Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until tester comes out clean.
     Let sit 15 minutes before removing from oven.
     Cut into squares, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.

Spread batter into parchment lined 10 inch dutch oven

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Potatoes Wrapped in Bacon

     I was thinking of this recipe today while I was swimming, it's terrible, I know, to be obsessing about food while you're trying to burn off calories but since anything tastes good wrapped in bacon, I thought, why not potatoes?  I searched the Internet and found that various versions of this recipe have been around for a while now.  If you only have large potatoes you can cut them into wedges, wrap them tightly with bacon and basically cook them the same way.  In my 10 inch dutch oven, they baked for 55 minutes with 10 coals in a ring around the base of the oven and the lid completely covered with briquettes.  I started with a blazing hot oven and left it undisturbed for almost an hour, when I smelled the bacon I knew they were done.  Double or triple the recipe if you're feeding a crowd.   Crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, serve these dressed potatoes for breakfast, as an appetizer or as a side dish with dinner, I guarantee they will fly off the plate.

Potatoes Wrapped in Bacon
12 New or fingerling potatoes, washed and dried thoroughly
6 slices of bacon
Salt and pepper to taste

     Lightly oil or spray dutch oven.
     Cut bacon strips in half.
     Wrap each potato tightly with halved bacon strip.
     Place wrapped potatoes side by side in dutch oven.
     Add salt and pepper to taste.
     Bake at 400 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until bacon is crisp and potatoes are tender.
     Serve warm with sour cream, chives or softened butter.

Wrap potatoes with bacon and place in a single layer
in dutch oven.

Roast at 400 degrees for 50-55 minutes

Serve these crispy spuds with your favorite toppings