Regular Cornbread

Nothing crazy here.  Just your usual cornbread.  It's not sweet and has a mild corn flavor.  It's perfect for chili.  Stir in kernels from one ear of corn if you like.  

If you don't have buttermilk: use 1 1/2 cup milk but substitute 2 tablespoons for the milk with white vinegar.  Set aside for 5 minutes before using.  It will become tangy and thick. 

Makes one 8" x 8" pan of bread.

Cornbread

1 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup all purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

pinch cinnamon

6 tablespoons melted butter

1 egg

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Oil an 8" x 8" pan.  Set aside.  

Whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Fold in melted butter, egg and buttermilk (corn kernels, if using) until flour is hydrated. Batter will be lumpy, it's ok, just don't over mix.  Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until edges are golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes.  

Cam's Black Bean + Tomatillo Soup

This is a good one.  I wasn't sure about the tomatillos when Cam was explaining his idea for the soup but they really add a beautiful bright flavor.  

Tomatillos look like little green tomatoes that you'll find in papery/dried leaf like husks.  Peel those off and discard along with any stems. Cotija cheese is a salty, hard cow's milk cheese from Mexico.  You can grate it or just crumble it with your hands - you'll notice it crumbles into little rice sized bits.  

Serves 8.

Black Bean + Tomatillo Soup

1 lb dried black beans

1 large white onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon cumin

2 quarts water

1 jalapeno, quartered

2 bay leaves

cilantro, leaves chopped and stems separated and reserved

1 lb tomatillos, husks removed, quartered

2 ears corn, husks removed

2 tablespoons cotija cheese

lime juice

salt + pepper

Pick through beans, discarding anything that is not a bean.  Place in bowl and cover with 3 inches of water.  Let soak overnight.  

In a large pot over medium low heat, warm olive oil.  Add onions and sweat until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add garlic, cook 2 minutes.  

Wrap jalapeño, bay leaves and cilantro stems in cheese cloth, secure with kitchen string. 

Drain beans of soaking liquid.  Add beans, jalapeño sachet, cumin and 2 quarts of water to the onions.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until beans are soft, about 2 hours. 

While soup is simmering, heat oven to 350.  Arrange tomatillos in oven safe dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil.  Roast until soft, 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and puree smooth.   

Grill corn until slightly blackened.  Cut kernels from cob, discard cob.  Toss with cotija cheese, chopped cilantro leaves and lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper.   

Remove sachet from beans.  Puree about 1/3 of soup.  Stir tomatillo puree and pureed 1/3 into soup.  Adjust seasoning.  Top with corn garnish. 

Buttermilk Cornbread Pancakes

Oh, pancakes.  Nothing says 'it's the weekend' more strongly than homemade pancakes.  Made these last sunday and happily drowned them in maple syrup.  Cam ate his topped with two sunny eggs.  He's so sensible.  

Makes 6 pancakes.   

Cornbread Pancakes

1 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

pinch salt

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk

high heat oil, as needed for cooking

Whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Whisk in egg and buttermilk until just combined and flour is hydrated.   

Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat.  Oil surface if necessary.  Pour 1/2 cup ladlefuls of batter onto the hot skillet.  Leave enough room for flipping.  When the edges bubble, flip.  Cook until the bottom side is light brown.  

Serve warm with maple syrup and butter.   

Street Corn

Elote, elote, elote!  It's summer and there's plenty of delicious corn just waiting to be grilled and slathered with toppings, right?  My favorite street fair snack.  

Cotija cheese is a salty, dry, firm, cow's milk cheese made in Mexico.  It can be found at most grocery stores, usually around the cheese counter.  It will most likely be sold in rounds or blocks that are easily grated.  Think of it as a Mexican parmesan cheese. 

If cooking on a grill, corn can be dipped in water and grilled in it's husks.  Cool, remove husks and silks.  Return to the hot grill for a few minutes then dress with toppings.  

Make as many servings as you need.

Street Fair Corn

fresh corn, on the cob, in its husk, stemmed trimmed

mayo or Chipotle Aoli

grated cotija cheese, about 1 oz per cob

ancho chile powder

lime wedges, for serving

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Add corn cobs, husks on, and blanche 10 minutes.  Shock in an ice bath until cool.  Remove husks.  Dry.  Place in hot pan, directly over flame (gas range) or grill to blacken slightly.  

Lightly brush with mayo or chipotle aoli.  Roll in grated cotija cheese.  Season with a dusting of ancho chile powder and serve with lime wedges.  

Cam's Freekeh Salad

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We've made big batches of this a couple weeks in a row and I'm obsessed.  If I'm not paying attention I can eat much more than I should.  It's one of those foods that I'm not sure if it's a side dish or main meal so maybe it's both.  

Freekeh is a roasted grain from green wheat, it is a natural, ancient grain high in fiber and iron.   

Serves 4.   

Freekeh Salad with Cilantro + Corn

1 cup freekeh

2 ears corn

1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced

1 poblano pepper, seeded, diced

2 shallots, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1 tin black beans, drained, rinsed

olive oil

s + p

several sprigs fresh cilantro, chopped

juice of 1 lime

1/4 teaspoon cumin

Cook freekeh in 2 cups water.  Boil, cover, simmer 50-60 minutes until water is gone and freekeh is cooked.   

Cut kernels from corn (discard cobs) and saute in a splash of olive oil with red bell pepper, poblano, shallots and garlic.  Cook 5 minutes, or until corn is cooked.  Add freekeh and black beans.  Toss with salt, pepper, cilantro, lime juice and cumin.   

 

Cam's Corn Succotash

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I heart this.  It's so summery and demands a picnic.  For me, no outdoor summer meal is complete without a corn dish and this one, made by Cameron, my husband,  is great.  It can be easily adapted to suit different tastes by changing the lime to lemon and swapping the cilantro for basil.   

Cam has a nice little trick to neatly getting the kernels of corn off the cob and into a bowl with minimal mess.  As shown in the picture, place a cup upside down in the bottom of a large bowl, stand the corn cob on the cup, slice the kernels off and they will fall into the bowl.  When done, remove cup.   

Serves 4. 

Corn Succotash 

olive oil

kernels of 4 ears fresh corn

1 poblano pepper, seeded, diced

1 shallot, diced

1 red pepper, seeded, diced

cilantro leaves, chopped 

lime juice

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

s + p

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan on medium heat.  Add shallot and poblano, cook 2 minutes.  Add corn, cook 2 minutes or until corn is glossy and less starchy.  Add red pepper, herbs, lime juice and tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve.