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Posts Tagged ‘cornmeal’

i.e. Heaven on a Plate

Nate and I have had non-stop plans since Christmas.

Don’t get me wrong, we love travelling and spending time with family and friends, but sometimes it’s nice to have a lazy weekend at home where we can sleep in (a luxurious 8 am), and make something fantastic for breakfast.

Nate’s in the midst of his marathon training since he qualified for the Boston Marathon, so I try to make meals with enough calories to carry him through his runs.

I’m not gonna lie and tell you that these waffles are perfect for your New Year’s diet, but I can tell you that they’re worth every.single.calorie.  I actually cut down on the amount of butter and bacon in the original recipe, if you can believe it.

They taste like cornbread with a bite of bacon in every forkful. The thyme-infused syrup is herby and delicious- a combo I’d never have dreamed up on my own.

So please, make this for someone you love this weekend.


Cornmeal-Bacon Waffles with Thyme-Infused Maple Syrup
Slightly adapted from Leite’s Culinaria

Print this recipe!

makes 12-14 waffles 

For the thyme-infused syrup:

8 small sprigs fresh thyme
1  cup pure maple syrup
8 whole black peppercorns
4  tablespoons cold water

For the cornmeal-bacon waffles:

1 pound thick-cut bacon
4 large eggs
3 cups (12 fluid ounces) buttermilk, plus more as needed
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Make the thyme-infused syrup:

Pull off most of the leaves from the thyme. Place both the leaves and the stems in a small saucepan with the maple syrup, peppercorns, and water. Place over very low heat and bring to a very gently simmer. Let it bubble for 10 minutes to infuse the syrup with thyme. Strain the syrup into a pitcher. (You can make the syrup up to 3 days ahead. Cover tightly and refrigerate, then gently reheat over low heat just before serving.)

Make the cornmeal-bacon waffles:

Heat a heavy skillet or griddle over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until crisp, turning once, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels and let stand until cool enough to handle. Crumble the bacon into small pieces. You should have about 1 1/4 cups.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and butter. In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper, if using. Make a well in the center of the cornmeal mixture, then pour in the egg mixture. Whisk until the batter is mostly smooth with just a few lumps. If the batter is too thick, stir in another 1 to 2 tablespoons buttermilk. Gently fold in the bacon.

Preheat your waffle maker.

Ladle the batter into the waffle maker, using 1/2 to 3/4 cup batter per batch and spreading the batter so that it almost reaches the edges. Cook until crisp and browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a spatula, remove the waffles and serve hot or place on a baking sheet in a single layer in a 200°F (95°C) oven for up to 20 minutes while you make the rest with the remaining batter. Drizzle with the warm thyme-infused syrup.

Enjoy!

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You know, it is generally recommended to eat 2-3 servings of fish per week. Do you eat that much? I certainly don’t.

It’s not that I don’t like fish…I like most of it, but I just never think to get it when I’m at the grocery store. It’s stupid, really, considering fish meals are the quickest ones of all, since it takes so little time to cook it.

So when I was looking through my recipes the other day, I went straight for the fish section.

I should tell you that I have inherited my mom’s recipe boxes with all of the recipes she has compiled over the years. It contains both the ones we all know and love from growing up, as well as others that haven’t even been tested yet. I gained this vast collection of recipes when my mom decided to neaten things up by photocopying all of the recipes and putting them in a binder instead. I’m not sure why she did that, but I’m thankful because I got the hand-me-downs 🙂

When I told my mom that I made this recipe and how good it was, she said that the last time she cooked it was during one of our summers in Martha’s Vineyard. While I don’t remember her making that particular meal, I can just feel us all sitting out on the deck in the cool,  summer evening air, enjoying another of my mom’s delicious home-cooked meals.


Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish on Mixed Greens
Taken from Mom’s recipe box 🙂

Print this recipe!

Serves 2

Ingredients:
1/4 cup cornmeal
10-12 oz. Catfish, in 1″ hunks
2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon peel
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

3 cups mixed greens
1/2 cup thin sliced sweet onion

1. Put cornmeal in bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Rinse catfish and shake off extra water- do not pat dry. Toss fish in cornmeal until well-coated.

2. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in large non-stick skillet over med-hi heat. Add fish and cook till golden, turning, about 6 min. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

3. Add 1/2 Tbsp oil, lemon juince and peel, honey an dmustard to skillet. Whisk 30 sec till combined.

4. Combine lettuce and onions in bowl. Add dressing and toss. Divide between 2 plates. Top with fish.

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Whew, that title was a long one! I never really know what to put for my blog post titles. Sometimes I want to be creative, but I feel like I need to be descriptive and tell you exactly what recipe the post contains. I guess I’ll just see how it goes. But for this one, I knew the name of the recipe itself was enough to draw you in 😉 Sounds tasty, right?

Lately I’ve been trying to enter as many recipes contests as I can in an effort to get my blog out there. The other day I saw this contest on Food52, a website that hosts weekly themed contests, and this one’s winner would get to be on the Martha Stewart Show! I know she gets a bad rap sometimes, but ever since I was little, I’ve been kind of obsessed with her. I want to be her (well, not including the jail time, and maybe with a little bit more of a sense of humor). Martha, if you’re reading this, I’m just kidding- I love you!

I believe this recipe came to me by divine inspiration. No, I wasn’t sitting in bed reading cookbooks when it happened. I had just stumbled across the contest mentioned above and it got me brainstorming. I was on another long walk home and so I started to think. I knew I wanted to use the flavors of the bruschetta I made a month ago but somehow incorporate it into a tart. I was trying to figure out what type of crust to use when it came to me: Rosemary Cornmeal. I was also thinking I wanted some sort of jam to make it more tart-like so I decided to turn the figs I had used in the bruschetta into a jam.

I had all the flavor components in mind but wanted to alternate salty and sweet layers. I thought I’d make the crust have some sweetness to it, and I had the fig jam, prosciutto and pears, but I needed something else salty. I decided to spread a thin layer of blue cheese between the crust and jam. I also added a touch of balsamic vinegar to the fig jam to make it sweet, but tangy too.

Now, I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I’m going to make a bold statement and say, this could be the best food I’ve EVER eaten. Like so good I’d eat it instead of dessert!

Yep, you heard me right. This tart is better than dessert. You may be asking yourselves, “Has Amy gone off the deep end?” Well, I thought you would have noticed that happened long ago, but I promise this recipe is that good.

The rosemary in the crust is aromatic and shines through, the crust itself and sweet and crumbly, the tanginess of the jam pairs perfectly with the saltiness of the cheese and ham and the juicy sweetness of the pears, and the honey on top makes it truly decadent. Try it and see for yourself.

P.S. See my entry in the Food52 contest HERE.

Fresh Pear, Fig, and Prosciutto Tart with Rosemary Cornmeal Crust

Recipe by Me
8-10 appetizer portions

Crust:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal (not stone-ground)
2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
4 to 5 Tbsp ice water

Filling:

1 3/4 oz blue cheese crumbles (about 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp)
1 recipe Fig Spread (see previous post)
4 oz. Prosciutto, roughly chopped
1 juicy fresh pear, cut in half, cored and then very thinly sliced
1-2 Tbsp honey

Put rosemary in food processor and process til chopped. Add flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt to food processor and pulse. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles course meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Drizzle evently with 4 Tbsp ice water and pulse until just incorporated. Gently squeeze a small handful. If it doesn’t hold together, add more water, 1/2 Tbsp at a time, pulsing after each addition and continuing to test.

Press dough evenly onto bottom and up sides of 9 1/2 inch tart pan. Chill crust until firm, about 30 min.

Preheat oven to 400. Bake crust in middle of oven until center and edges are golden, 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with blue cheese. Leave cheese to soften on warm crust for 1-2 min. After softened, spread cheese around crust (small offset spatula works best). Cool crust in pan on rack or in fridge until reaches room temperature.

When crust is cooled, spread Fig Spread evenly over crust. Sprinkle chopped Proscuitto evenly over tart. Arrange pear slices in 2 concentric circles over tart. Drizzle with honey and garnish with rosemary sprig if desired. Serve immediately.

Note: Tart will not be good served after refrigeration as pears will turn brown and crust will be too hard.


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