Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Munchies

Alright, I finally have some food for ya'll!! And this is a two-fer!! The dish above is a new one I tried the other night and really enjoyed it so I thought some of you might like it because the ingredients are right in season for most of us. It's a great summer dish: light and fresh. My green beans have just started coming in also, so I was trying to find some new ways to serve them anyway and it is scrumptious if the items are just picked. It's quick and easy too!

Green Bean and Cherry Tomato Salad

1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
1 1/4 pounds cherry tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 tablespoon minced shallots
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Cook bean in boiling water 7 minutes or until tender. Drain. Place beans, tomatoes and oregano in a bowl and toss gently to mix.
Combine shallots and vinegar, stirring with a whisk. Let sit for 10 minutes. Add oil, salt, and pepper to vinegar mixture, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Pour vinaigrette over bean mixture and toss well. Serve!

Now, I took a little liberty with this recipe and used basil instead of oregano, because I have it growing outside on the patio and think it goes well with tomatoes. I cut the amount of salt down a little and I used green onions instead of shallots. Oh, and I added a little feta, because feta goes with anything!
I served this with a grilled steak and roasted corn on the cob. Yummy!!!

Okay, now on to the cornbread. This is a pretty traditional southern meal; fried chicken, beans boiled with fresh taters and cornbread. It is also traditional in the South to serve fresh slices of tomatoes and cucumber with each meal in the summer, even breakfast, as they come in. No dressings or such; you just sprinkle a little salt or pepper on them if you want. Now, this is a true Southern cornbread recipe. It is very simple because Southerners were very poor back when this came about. No fancy ingredients or, God forbid, sugar. Please don't defile it by adding sugar and only use WHITE cornmeal. If mine has a golden cast it is because of the fresh, real egg in it. It astounds me that they actually sell cornbread mix in the stores because the recipe is so simple. I mean, it ain't much more than cornmeal and buttermilk. So,

Southern Cornbread or Cornpone

Now, this recipe is for a 6 inch skillet, so just multiply it or so. And you MUST use a cast iron skillet to cook it.

1 cup plain, medium grind cornmeal (WHITE)
1/4 cup all -purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg

Mix the dry ingredients well, then add the egg and mix until distributed. Add enough fresh buttermilk until batter is slightly pourable.
Now, as you mix the batter, you have your skillet heating on the stove with enough oil to cover the bottom well. You must use enough oil that when you pour the batter in, the oil shows a bit above the batter. I know this sounds kinda voodoo but Southern cooking is like that. I can't tell you exact measurements; you just gotta know by lookin' at it.
So, pour the batter in the hot, well-seasoned skillet (it should sizzle a little). This heat, and the right amount of oil assures a crispy crust. Then take the hot skillet and place in a oven preheated to 425 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes or so. Or until the top is toasty and a knife inserted comes out clean.
Now, some people don't use the egg and you can use regular milk but I think the buttermilk adds a little myself. Serve HOT and with lots of real butter.

Now, if you want to be real white, southern trash, take any cornbread leftovers and crumble them up in a cold glass of regular milk or buttermilk. Or at least, that's what my ex-husband used to call me for eating that! And I did say, EX-husband.


ErinFromIowa said...

Does eating crumbled cornbread with butter and dark karo syrup on top make me real white, northern trash? That was something I picked up from elementary school lunches that were planned and prepared by farm wives aka lunch ladies. They were fantastic at being creative with the food supplies they were presented with. I did come away with some odd comfort foods though!

Sissy said...

Almost made as I do mine. Instead of using the oven and wasting more electricity, I cover the skillet with a glass lid, watch it rise to perfection, then flip it over to finish browning its topside.
I love cornbread with milk but usually can't have it as my four-legged family are standing expectantly at my back. They love cornbread too, so I have nary a crumb left.

ezrablu said...

holy moly does that all look good :P

edifice rex said...

Hey Erin! yeah, I know what you mean! It is actually common in very rural areas here for cornbread to be eaten with Karo syrup or molasses.

Hey Sissy! I've never tried using the stovetop only; sounds interesting! I may have to try that. I just cook mine in my little toaster oven, so it doesn't use much.

Hey Ezra! thanks!! it was! :D

Anonymous said...


Your article was correct except for one thing, you ate your cornbread with "sweetmilk" not regular milk. Buttermilk is the other kind but it's only good for cooking in my biased opinion.

I hope that isn't your pet chicken "Scooter"??? on your plate! That would be like eating one of your own.

Take care,


edifice rex said...

Hey Barry! Oh, you are right!! it is sweetmilk! lol! I haven't heard that term in a while.
No, that is not Scooter! I don't think I could eat him. ha! Hey, he's doing better though; he don't run backwards anymore!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

We had a green bean salad last week but without tomatoes cause ours haven't fully ripened yet. You are so right about fresh picked being the best. We use basil with maters all the time - they just go together. Now we have to get an iron skillet if we want to try that cornbread recipe. And we learned real quick what "mes" referred to in the south. Lots of folks here use it to refer to people too as in..."he (she's) such a mess."

edifice rex said...

Hey Bea! Ya'll don't have a cast iron skillet!!??? what's this world coming to?! LOL!!
You must get one; they are wonderful for cooking.

Curmudgeon said...

Hon usually uses two eggs and butter as I like it extra moist. She won't use the skillet even though I've seasoned it several times and it' slicker'n teflon. I usually only eat cornbread with beans. Hey! I posted a new story and need real feedback it feels all wrong for some reason. It's called Barking Mad.Give me some feedback and I will put it back in draft and fix it. I will anyway but would like your input as you have a dog.I'm working on another called It All Hurts ..Driving