Sunday, March 29, 2009

Beer beef stew and double corn cornbread

What with buying the house and all, I have been completely swamped and unable to blog but I have still had the time to play in the kitchen. So this update will be in two installments, one each for last weekend's and this weekend's cooking adventures.

Last Sunday, I made a beef stew based off of Michael Smith's Beer Stew recipe. I say based on his recipe because I actually made the stew from notes I made while watching the show. See, I like to keep a notebook and pen by the TV so I can write down ideas and suggestions while watching cooking shows. This way, I don't have to watch the show twice and, if I need to, I know exactly where to find the full recipe should I want to see exact measurements and timings.

Getting back to the Beef Stew, however, it turned out fine. Except that I was using a tougher stewing meat which probably would have benefitted more from cooking for 4 plus hours (i.e. the beef was a bit tough). I also used red wine instead of beer because that's what we had around the house. If you look at the recipe, there's no veggies in it. I would add some carrots, I think. But I did like the idea of serving the stew over some fresh baby spinach. The heat would be just enough to cook the leaves. As it was, we didn't have spinach so Gabriel served his over some frozen peas and declared it good.

We served the stew with some yummy cornbread. Gabriel managed to sneak a little extra hot sauce in but forgot the salt entirely. :) Here's the recipe we used. We used fine cornmeal, and we will continue to do so until the bag is done, but I would suggest a coarser grain cornmeal for a more rustic texture.

Double-Corn Cornbread

Shopping List:
• cornmeal
• all-purpose flour
• sugar
• baking powder
• baking soda
• salt
• frozen corn
• sour cream
• eggs (2)
• hot sauce
• vegetable oil
• unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 450°F.

In a large bowl, whisk to combine:
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt

In the food processor, combine:
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs
½ tsp hot sauce

Pulse until finely ground.

Pour 2 tsp vegetable oil into an 8 inch cast-iron skillet and heat on stove top.

Fold liquid ingredients into dry.

Melt 4 tbsp unsalted butter and add to mixture.

Once oil is hot (just as whisps of smoke are seen), remove skillet from heat and immediately add the batter. Push the batter out to edges and immediately place in oven.

Bake for 20-25 minutes. Check at 18 minutes.

Remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes.

Original source: Double-Corn Cornbread - America's Test Kitchen

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