Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Getting Down with the South

Hey, y’all.

Oh Lord. Who am I kidding? I am so not a Southerner. But Southern food is delish, so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

According to the husband, the outcome was a success.

On the menu last night was: smothered pork chops, skillet corn bread, sautéed spinach and a salad.

I know, I know. Collard greens are way more appropriate, but I was trying two new recipes and didn’t want to stress out over a third, especially since my cookery was part of a photo shoot for all y’all.

The pork chops are courtesy of Tyler Florence. Love him. Seriously. I don’t think I’ve ever made a bad Tyler Florence recipe. He is so underrated on the Food Network. Tyler is a genius. Plus, his kitchen is fab and he rocks crazy copper pots, which I envy from a distance. Copper pots cost so much and are so pretty, I would be scared to use them. But, they are the mac daddy of pots. Maybe I need to get over this.

Anyway, here’s the pork chop recipe on the FN Web site. And as you’ll see from the reviews, my husband and I are not the only people lovin’ on Tyler’s pork chops.

To go with the pork chops, I made some crazy corn bread. I have to admit, I was mentally prepared for failure, letdown or disaster. But I totally succeeded.

Take that, corn bread.

Isn't it pretty?

So, in order to make my fabalicious golden, crusty, moist corn bread, I rocked out with my gorgeous le Creuset cast iron skillet. I received this marvelous pan courtesy of my amazingly awesome mother-in-law. She knows I have a major addiction to le Creuset and cookbooks and shoes and J. Crew and Sudoko, so she usually helps me out by keeping those addictions alive and well during Christmas and my birthday.

Maybe the next time she eats at my house for dinner, I'll serve her some fab corn bread. Of course, the true test would be serving it to my brother-in-law Jason, a.k.a. The Rebel. He comes from Confederate territory and knows his down home eats.

This recipe is based on the Moist Cornbread recipe from "The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook," by Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis Hearne. My mother-in-law bought the cookbook for me from Crate and Barrel. The recipe does not call for cheese, but I added 3/4 cup of grated cheddar. The recipe in the book does call for 2 Tbsp. sugar, which I did not add.

Here's how I did it:


1 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 extra large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup half and half
4 Tbsp. and 2 Tbsp. butter, melted separately and cooled a little.
2/3 cup fresh corn. You can use frozen instead.
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

Place an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 400 degrees.

Butter the bottom and sides of your 8- or 10-inch cast iron skillet.

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients: cornmeal, four,baking powder, baking soda, salt and chili powder. Whisk together.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, half and half, 4 Tbsp. melted butter. Add corn and cheese. Mix a little.

Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold gently. Don't overmix or beat. That will lead to tough and dry and yucky cornbread.

Heat your skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Pour the batter into the pan, and smooth out so that it's even.

Place pan in oven for 10 minutes. Remove skillet from oven and brush the remaining melted butter on the top of the corn bread with a pastry brush. Bake for another 10 minutes.

Let the cornbread cool, and serve straight from the pan.

1 comment:

  1. well i finally know what i can buy you for Christmas! - Michele