Tag Archives: Sides

Cornbread with Bacon

Cornbread is one of my all time favorite side dishes because it’s so versatile and it’s easy to play around with different additions.  Since it’s Thanksgiving week I thought I’d post about this in advance of the big day in case anyone wants to have a little slice of Americana on their table, whether or not you actually celebrate Thanksgiving.

I’d never thought about adding bacon and a hint of maple syrup to cornbread before this recipe and it was great. I usually go the Barefoot Contessa route and add lots of cheese and jalapenos, which I do recommend if you are feeding a crowd, but this bread was a perfect sized loaf for a family dinner.

If you are in Australia you can find yellow cornmeal at specialty food stores (Fundies in Brisbane and Byron Bay) or you could try polenta if you don’t feel like hunting for it, just know that it will be a slightly different texture.

I didn’t add as much bacon as the recipe called for but wish I had in the end because it needed that extra moisture.  I would also consider using creamed corn instead of just canned corn for some extra moisture.

Cornbread with Bacon adapted from Food Lovers Lunch

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 12oz (350g) bacon, chopped
  • 2 scallions (spring onions), finely chopped
  • ½ cup (120g) canned corn kernels, drained
  • ½ tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 2 cups (350g) cornmeal
  • 2 1/3 cups (350g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups (375ml) buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp melted butter
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and grease a loaf pan.
  2. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet and cook the bacon until crispy.
  3. Add the scallions and cook with the bacon for about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the corn kernels and pepper flakes, then remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal with the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  6. Add the buttermilk, eggs, cooled bacon mixture, melted butter, maple syrup and pepper and mix until just combined.
  7. Spread batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30-40 minutes.
  8. Slice and serve warm with butter.

Spicy-and-Garlicy Brussels Sprouts

I had never seen brussels sprouts on the stalk before until Trader Joes got a huge delivery of them the other day.  In honor of my mom, who has always been a die-hard brussels sprout fan even though every time she ever served them to us we whined and moaned about how horrible they were. I decided I would give these little pests from my childhood another shot – this time a fair shot because I was going to cook them just how I wanted them, SPICY.

I looked at several recipes and even though the ones that required the sprouts to be fried in bacon fat (which I have!) looked very tempting, I decided to err on the healthy side and use the recipe from November’s Food & Wine.

Spicy-and-Garlicy Brussels Sprouts recipe adapted from Food & Wine.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stalk of Brussels sprouts (about 30 sprouts)
  • 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2.  Cut all the Brussels sprouts in half.

3. Add the brussels sprouts to the boiling water and cook until bright green, 2 minutes. Drain well and pat dry.

4. In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add half of the garlic and half of the brussels sprouts and cook over high heat undisturbed for 1 minute. Add half of the crushed red pepper, season with salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until the brussels sprouts are browned and tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl. Repeat with the remaining oil, garlic, brussels sprouts and crushed red pepper. Serve warm.

I liked these so much that I’m going to try David Chang’s Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Mint from Momofuku Ssäm Bar next time!  Making my mom proud…one sprout at a time.