Sunday, October 24, 2010

Easy Cornbread

Since ward Halloween parties are just around the corner, I thought I'd post a couple of our favorite cornbread recipes.   Here is the more traditional cornbread recipe, with a very different, but very tasty, casserole cornbread recipe posted below this one.

1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 c. cooking oil (can use less if desired)

Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then mix wet ingredients in separate bowl.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix together well.  Pour into greased 8 x 11 baking dish.  Bake at 425 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, until browned and toothpick/knife comes out cleanly when inserted in middle of bread.  Enjoy with some butter and honey.  It's also quite good w/ butter and maple syrup.

Corn Casserole

This one is more of a casserole than bread, but is also considered finger food.
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can creamed corn
1 box corn muffin mix (Jiffy is fine)
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 stick butter, melted
Optional, to taste: 
diced green onions OR diced jalepenos
grated cheddar cheese

Drain off 1/2 of whole kernel corn liquid.  Mix everything together.  Pour into greased 8 x 11 baking dish (or the equivalent size you have).  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until golden brown.
Delicious with some spicy chili! (see Major Cajone's chili recipe on this blog)

Homemade Rice and Roni

Courtesy of Paula Deen, with minor alterations.

1 Tbs. oil
1/2 pound pasta, vermicelli or spaghetti (I always use spaghetti)
1 cup long grain rice
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbsp.  chopped fresh parsley leaves, or 1 tsp. dried parsley
2 cans chicken or beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Begin by placing the oil in a pot (not yet heated) and breaking the dried noodles into 1/2 to 1-inch pieces.  Turn on the heat and stir the noodles in the oil until they begin to brown slightly.  Add the rice, onion, parsley, salt & pepper to taste, and broth.  Stir mixture together, cover tightly, and cook as you would regular rice, approx. 20 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and serve alongside chicken or beef main course.

Fish and Sweet Potato Chips

For Fish:
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
2 cups rice flour (if you don't have this, regular all-purpose flour will work fine)
1 Tbs. baking powder
3 tsp. salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 (12 oz.) can soda water (we've used Sprite in a crunch, and it was fine)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 (8 oz.) cod or haddock fillets, cut in 1/2 on an angle
              *We have used halibut and tilapia instead, and it was great.  We also cut the fish into strips instead of just in half.
1/2 cup rice flour, for dredging (or all-purpose flour)
Malt vinegar, for serving

For Chips:
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
For Chips:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise and cut each half into long spears.  Place them on a sheet pan and toss with the olive oil.  Spread the potatoes in one layer.  Combine brown sugar, salt, and pepper, then sprinkle mixture on the potatoes.  Bake for 15 minutes, then turn with a spatula.  Bake another 5 to 10 minutes until lightly browned and tender inside.  Sprinkle lightly w/ salt, serve hot with or without ketchup.
While chips are baking, here is what you do with the FISH:
Heat 3 inches of oil in a deep fryer to 375 degrees F.  Alternatively, us a deep, heavy skillet.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.  Combine soda water and egg and pour into the flour mixture.  Whisk to a smooth batter.  Spread the 1/2 cup rice flour on a plate.  Dredge the fish pieces in the rice flour, then dip them into the batter, letting the excess drip off.

Carefully lower the battered fish into the bubbling oil.  Fry for 4 to fish minutes, until crispy and brown.  Remove the fryer basket and drain fish onto paper towels; season lightly with salt/pepper.  Serve with malt vinegar and/or tartar sauce.

Megan's Curry Chicken

A friend of mine made this for us when we came over for dinner, and I loved it and asked for the recipe.  Then I mentioned making it to a couple of other friends, and they asked for the recipe, so I thought I'd just post it for everyone.  Here ya go:

2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 to 2 T. lemon juice
1 T. yellow curry (or to taste)
4 chicken breasts
2 cups broccoli florets
Shredded cheddar cheese, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Cooked rice (served on the side)

Mix soup, mayo, lemon juice, and curry in a bowl.  The lemon juice makes it tangy, so add more if you want it more tangy.  Same with the curry, if you like it less strong, do less, or more if you want more.  These are the measurements I like.  Also, if you would like the sauce a little runnier, add chicken broth until you reach the consistency desired.  Place chicken breasts in a greased baking dish with broccoli florets, then pour soup mixture over chicken and broccoli.  Top with amount of cheese desired and salt and pepper.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Serve with rice.
Serves 2-4.

Chicken Fajitas

Recipe courtesy of "Fast-Fix Meals", with a few alterations by me.

1 to 2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 to 6 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
3 to 4 green bell peppers, sliced
2 red bell peppers, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 to 2 T. chili powder
1/2 t. ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 16oz. can diced tomatoes, DO NOT DRAIN
1 16oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups cooked brown rice
10 8-inch flour tortillas
1/3 cup chopped cilantro

If you don't have cooked rice already on hand, start that cooking first.
Pour enough oil in a large skillet just to coat bottom; heat over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and cook just until no longer pink; add peppers, onion and seasonings.  Stir-fry until chicken is golden and vegetables are tender.  Add tomatoes with juice and black beans (check flavor here to see if more salt/pepper is needed).  Cook until liquid is evaporated; add rice and cilantro and stir together.  Place heaping spoonfuls of chicken mixture onto warm tortillas.  Add a dollop of sour cream and little grated cheese if desired.  Serves 6-8.

I make half of this recipe for our family and have plenty of left-overs.  
I also thought it was better to use more chicken (6 chicken breasts), rather than the lesser option (4 chicken breasts).
Kids enjoy it, though younger ones might find it easier to eat out of a bowl, with the tortilla on the side.