I love traditional cornbread but for those trying to avoid gluten, it isn’t a fit. Last night I made a big pot of beef stew with cornbread for the family but needed a gluten-free version. The Almond Flour Cornbread is delicious with the slight sweetness of honey. Yummy!
While I was writing this post today my good buddy, Jan, sent me a link to a ‘Today’s Dinner Party‘ that brought a smile to my face, given all of the dietary restrictions we all face.
ALMOND FLOUR ‘CORNBREAD’
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup honey
4 eggs, beaten
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine.
Add the honey to the beaten eggs and add to flour mixture. Stir until fully combined and no lumps remain.
Pour into a well-greased 8×8″ baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
Turkey and Dressing baking the morning of Thanksgiving is such a sensory experience, bringing back fond memories of Thanksgivings past while creating new memories.
This photo of my Uncle George carving our Thanksgiving turkey in the 1960s while my Dad and Aunt Wilma watched (or snitched pieces of turkey) transported me back to the Smaha farmhouse and large family gatherings.
Traditionally, my family made the dressing from only white bread. When I married, Karl introduced me to cornbread dressing and I’ve become a big fan. The texture and flavor of the cornbread are a great addition.
ROAST TURKEY AND DRESSING
1 bag dried bread cubes 1 pan cornbread, crumbled
Chicken or turkey broth
1 egg, beaten
Sprinkle of sage & poultry seasoning
salt & pepper
Put bread cubes and crumbled cornbread in large bowl and saturate with broth.
Add onion, egg, salt & pepper, sage & poultry seasoning. Season to taste. Add chopped celery leaves.
Make sure stuffing is moist!
Stuff mixture in and around the turkey or chicken.
Cover with aluminum foil tent until last 2-3 hours of roasting. (Note for stuffing as a side dish, cook a minimum of 1-1.5 hours at 350 degrees.)
Many years ago, my friend Judy D., shared this recipe with me and it has been a family staple. Serve with homemade green chile and you have a wonderful meal for family and friends. This time I served with slices of the last tomatoes of the season. A silly discovery…sliced canned peaches made a wonderful side to this. Don’t ask me why…it just does!
This casserole also freezes beautifully. I have frozen leftovers and have also made two pans and froze one. Just heat it again and voila…dinner is served.
MEXICAN CORNBREAD CASSEROLE
2 cups yellow corn meal
2 cans cream style corn
1 cup milk
2 pounds ground beef (or turkey)
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 small can green chiles (mild or hot)
Mix together corn meal, corn, eggs and milk. Set aside.
Brown and drain ground beef.
In a separate bowl, mix cheese with green chiles.
Spray 9×13″ pan with PAM. Put 1/2 of cornmeal mixture into bottom of baking pan.
Spread all ground beef and chiles on top. Next sprinkle with cheese.
Finish with remaining cornmeal mixture.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Great topped with hot green chili (canned or home-made).
Pinto Beans and Cornbread was/is a staple in many homes, particular in the southern states. My Mother would occasionally make a pot of beans but it was usually met with disdain by our meat and potatoes Iowa farm family.
When I met my husband, raised in southern Missouri, I quickly learned that Pinto Beans, Cornbread and all of the fixin’s was a much-loved meal. My husband, Karl, usually took charge of this meal but I’ve learned to make it in the crockpot vs. watching it all day on the stove.
Karl and his family serve the pinto beans, cornbread and butter with cooked mustard greens (today it was green beans), corn, fresh sliced tomatoes, and fresh onion.
I prefer a small slice of cornbread with a few beans and a lot of bean stock and vegetables. My big finish…a larger piece of cornbread drowning in honey. Oh yeah!
SLOW COOKED PINTO BEANS
16 ounce package of dried pinto beans
1 ham hock
1/2 large onion, cut into pieces
black pepper to taste
Cover with water (about 1-2″ above the beans)
Place all of the above in a large crockpot on low setting. I typically start the crockpot in the evening and let it cook all night. In the morning, I add water as needed and cook until ready to serve (lunch or dinner). You may need to turn the setting to high in the morning if the beans are still very hard.
Once cooked, remove the ham hock and cool. Remove any bits of ham and return to the beans.
During my trip to Nicaragua, I had the opportunity to stay with a host family in San Ramon. My roommate, Sally, and I had the great pleasure of staying with Neyda and her family. We enjoyed many wonderful meals at Neyda’s home. One evening our ecotour group were treated to an evening of native Nicaraguan food and music. It was wonderful and highlighted by a light shower and a gorgeous rainbow.
The food served that evening included an unusual, sweet yet savory corn cake, baked in an outdoor wood-fired oven. The cake was baking when we arrived and like hungry baby birds, we all flocked to see what was in the oven. Our hostesses were kind enough to share the cake while it was still warm. Heavenly! The three photos below were taken the night of our dinner in San Ramon.
Our Nicaraguan hostess serving corn cake
Nicaraguan Corn Cake
Once returning home, the hunt was on for corn cake. My sister-in-law, Betty, discovered a similar recipe and shared it with our ecotour group. I baked the corn cake to share with my gal pals. By chance, I also brought a bowl of fresh pineapple and found it to be a wonderful side dish to serve with the bread. This recipe is slightly sweeter than the cake in Nicaragua, but delicious. A winner! However, I will continue my search to match the exact experience of our memorable Nicaraguan dinner.
NOTE: During our special evening in San Ramon we were also served the traditional Nicaraguan Nacatamal, a steamed corn cake filled with meat and vegetables, steamed in banana leaves. They, too, were fabulous and will be covered in a separate post at a later date. Stay tuned!
PERERREQUE (CORN CAKE)
1 pound fine white corn meal (I used regular white corn meal and ground again with the food processor)
1 pound crumbly cheese, grated finely (try Monterey Jack or Wensleydale)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons margarine
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 ½ cups milk
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the corn meal with the cheese and sugar. Cut/crumble in the margarine. Mix the baking soda into a little of the milk and pour into the dry ingredients. Add the remaining milk until the mixture is well blended.
Place the cake mixture into a greased baking pan. The mixture should be about 1 inch thick.
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the cake is golden brown. After this time, remove it from the oven, allow to cool and then cut into small pieces or squares before serving. I found the bread to be at it’s best when served warm, about an hour after baking.
My husband, Karl, was the official cornbread maker in our house. His cornbread is not sweet and is typically served with a pot of pinto beans with ham, cooked greens, fresh tomatoes and onions. I also like to serve cornbread with my 5-hour Beef Stew (to be posted another day) or chili. I always save a piece to drown in honey from my neighbor, Gary’s, beehives.
CORNBREAD the old fashioned way
1 tablespoon bacon grease (or canola oil)
1 cup white corn meal
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 cup corn oil
1 cup milk
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put one tablespoon bacon grease (heaping) in an iron skillet and let skillet get up to temperature of the oven. Take paper towel and spread grease throughout skillet. Pour off excess grease. You can be doing this while you are mixing the ingredients.
Mix dry ingredients. Beat egg and add wet ingredients. Mix. Blend dry and wet ingredients and stir well. You might need to add milk for the mixture needs to be runny.
When skillet is hot pour ingredients into it. Do not burn your hands. It’s easy to reach out and grab the skillet handle without using a pad or glove. Bake for 27 minutes.
Let cornbread cool for a few minutes, then invert onto plate. Serve warm with butter and honey or with the traditional pot of pinto beans, stew or chili.