Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Cornbread Mix

So you like cornbread, but the mix that you've used FOR YEARS suddenly disappears from the supermarket shelves. That happened to me, so I made my own mix.

3 c flour (I use whole wheat)
3 c yellow cornmeal
3 T sugar
2 T baking powder
2 t salt

Mix all the ingredients together and store in a tightly covered container.


1 T butter or cooking oil
2 T cooking oil
1/2 c milk
1 egg
1 c cornbread mix

Preheat the oven at 400°F. Add 1 T butter (or cooking oil) to an 8-inch cast iron skillet, and heat the skillet in the oven while you mix the cornbread.

Whisk together the oil, milk, and egg. Pour over the cornbread mix, and stir together until mixed. Pour the batter into the heated skillet and bake for 12 - 14 minutes. Do not overbake.

Corn Cake

1 c cornbread mix
1/3 c sugar
1/4 c yellow cornmeal
1/4 t baking soda
3 T cooking oil
1 egg
2 t vinegar
1/2 c milk
1 t vanilla

Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease and sprinkle cornmeal in an 8-inch cake pan.

In a mixing bowl, mix together the cornbread mix, cornmeal, sugar, and soda. In a measuring cup, mix the vinegar and milk. Add the egg, oil, and vanilla. Pour the liquids over the dry ingredients, and stir until well mixed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until done. Cool the cake for about 10 minutes, and turn it out onto a rack to cool completely. You can frost the cake, or serve the cake with jam or jelly.

Note: Add the zest of an orange or a lemon to the dry ingredients. Add the juice of the lemon or lime and enough milk to make 1/2 cup to the other liquid ingredients. Dust with powdered sugar.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Potato Tortilla

a.k.a. Potato Pie

Serves 4 as a side, 8 as an appetizer.

1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 medium potatoes
1 small or medium onion
1 red pepper
1 stalk celery
1 bunch green onions
2 large cloves garlic
4 eggs

Heat a 9-inch iron or non-stick oven proof skillet on medium heat. Peel and grate the potatoes into a bowl of cold water. Rinse and drain the potatoes in a colander. Squeeze out excess water.

Heat 2 T of the olive oil in the skillet. Add the potatoes, and stir them to coat them with the oil. If desired, add salt and pepper to taste. Fry undisturbed for 10 minutes. With a spatula, turn the potatoes and fry for 10 more minutes.

While the potatoes are frying, peel and chop the onion into medium dice. Seed and slice the pepper into sections, then into 1/4-inch strips. Finely chop the celery. Mince the garlic. To prepare the green onions, trim and peel off the limp or discolored stalks. Cut off the green tops, and chop the white bulbs separately from the tops.

When the potatoes are nicely browned, remove them from the skillet to a plate or bowl. Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet. Set aside the garlic and green onion tops and bulbs. Add the remaining vegetables to the skillet. Stir to coat and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and the chopped green onion bulbs. Add the herbs and salt and pepper to taste, and continue cooking for another three minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking, beat the eggs. Heat the oven to 375º F (190º C).

When the vegetables are soft, remove them from the skillet. Turn the heat to low. Place the potatoes in the skillet, and arrange to cover the bottom of the skillet. Heat for a couple of minutes. Spoon the vegetables on top of the potatoes, then pour the beaten eggs on top of the vegetables. Gently shake the skillet to distribute the eggs evenly. Sprinkle the reserved green onion tops on the eggs. Let the skillet sit for about 3 minutes over low heat. Put the tortilla in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes.

Remove the tortilla from the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature. The potatoes will firm up as they cool.

Variations: Add 1 T chili pepper or 1/2 t hot pepper flakes to the potatoes for a little heat. Stir 5 or 6 chopped olives into the vegetables before adding the eggs. Sprinkle 1 T large capers on top of the eggs. Lay 8 sliced artichoke hearts on top of the vegetables before adding the eggs.

Friday, January 2, 2009


Yields about 1/2 gallon

6 eggs
1 pt Kentucky whiskey or bourbon
1 c dark rum
1 pt heavy cream
1 pt half and half
1/2 c sugar
grated nutmeg

Note: Start this process at least two weeks before you want to drink it.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs until yellow and thick. Add the liquors, and stir until blended.

In another bowl, beat the heavy cream until it is thickened (to very soft peaks - don't overbeat). Fold the whipping cream into the egg mixture. Add the half and half and sugar, and stir until the eggnog is combined.

Pour the eggnog into clean containers (I use empty liquor bottles), and cover tightly. Let this mellow in your refrigerator for at least a couple of weeks, more likely a couple of months. Serve in cups and sprinkle with freshly grated nutmeg.