Browned Butter Cornbread

browned butter cornbread

Browned butter cornbread, hot out of the oven.

I’m pretty sure that my great-grandmother from Shelbyville, TN never made cornbread with browned butter, or, without bacon grease/fat for that matter. Well, I did adhere to one Southern tradition when I made my version of cornbread: no sugar. I’m not a fan of sweet cornbread, I it like more savory. But, if you like a slightly sweeter bread, by all means, add the tablespoon of sugar. Also, I think the browned butter adds a deeper, nuttier flavor to the cornbread. I think the next time I make this I’ll add some grilled corn off the cob. I only had some sad, old frozen corn, which, after heating up in the microwave tasted like, well, old corn (yuck). I suppose I should clean out my freezer….but, that’s for another day!

*Recipe slightly adapted from Paula Deen

  • 6 TB unsalted butter, browned, plus butter for baking dish
  • 1 C cornmeal
  • 3/4 C AP flour
  • 1 TB sugar (Optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Brown your butter and set aside to cool.

That extra 2 TB of butter you have from the stick you cut earlier? Use that, or most of it to grease your 8×8 baking dish.

Mix all dry ingredients into a large bowl, set aside. Once the browned butter is cooled, add the slightly beaten eggs and buttermilk, stir. Then add wet ingredients to dry and mix well, making sure you get out all the dry parts (you don’t want any pockets of batter with dry bits because nothing is more gross than biting into a baked good and getting a bite with dried bits of flour.) The batter will be slightly lumpy and that’s okay. Bake until top is golden brown, about 20-25 minutes, depending on how hot your oven is. Mine took exactly 20 min. Let it cool and then eat. I’m going to have mine with a bowl of vegetarian chili for dinner.

Raw Asparagus and Chickpea Salad with Lemon

a spring-y salad.

a spring-y salad.

You may say, “Raw asparagus?!?” And, I will reply: “YES!”(with much enthusiasm). This is an easy and light salad to make for lunch, like I did yesterday. I used both a little bit of Bulgarian feta and Pecorino. I enjoyed the play of the two different flavors and textures of cheese. If you can find Bulgarian feta, buy some, pronto. It’s not salty like Greek feta cheese, it’s more mild and creamy/not so crumbly.

  • 1lb. (bunch) of asparagus, rinsed, cut into 1-2″ pieces
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup (or more) of crumbled Bulgarian feta cheese
  • a couple glugs of olive oil
  • zest of lemon, plus juice of half a lemon
  • flaky sea salt and pepper to taste
  • some shavings of Pecorino Romano cheese

Add cut asparagus and chickpeas in a medium-large bowl. I cut the asparagus into tiny, diagonal pieces to make it more visually appealing (I guess, haha). drizzle with olive oil–enough to coat the beans and veg. Add lemon zest and juice and feta pieces. Stir until combined. Add some shaved (I used a vegetable peeler) Pecorino Romano on top. Enjoy!

Brown Basmati Rice and Black Bean Salad with Tangy Lime Dressing

It’s finally getting warmer in Brooklyn, to the point I had to switch on the A/C for a few days (Con Edison loves me). For me, when it’s warmer outside, I’d rather eat lighter meals that can be served cold. This is a nice, light lunch or dinner option. I think you can add diced pepper and corn to this salad and that would work well too. Go on and make yourself a margarita too!

  • 2 C. cooked brown basmati rice, cooled
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 avocado, cubed
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 C. Bulgarian feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 2-3 TB mayo
  • 1/4 C. lime juice
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • dash of salt/pepper
  • dash of crushed red pepper flakes

Add all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until smooth. Adjust accordingly, ie: if you want it tangier, add more lime juice, more creamy, add a bit more mayo. Note: I used bottled organic lime juice (Santa Cruz brand). It’s pure lime juice, no sugar or extra crap. I also use it to make margaritas [upcoming post!])

In a large bowl, add beans and vegetables to cooled rice. (you want to use cooled rice because you don’t want mushy tomatoes and cooked avocado, nor do you want the dressing warmed by the rice). Add dressing and mix until everything is coated. Add crumbled Bulgarian feta on top. Bam, you’re done. With this recipe, I’m pretty sure you CAN win friends with salad

Now, go do your laundry that you’ve been putting off for a few days.

Green bean, Carrot, Chickpea Salad

When I was a kid, we used to pick green beans from my grandma’s garden in MI. I liked green beans so much so, I couldn’t wait until we got in the house to wash them, that I’d just eat them straight after picking them. My brother hated green beans, and still does to this day. So, more for me! I wasn’t a fan of green bean casserole that always seemed to make an appearance at family holiday dinners. I like my beans steamed or sauted with olive oil or butter and some lemon juice. Or, I love them raw in a salad. Originally, I was just going to do an olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing, but decided upon a creamy dressing of mayo, ground yellow mustard, olive oil and lemon juice (this is the same dressing from the previous recipe here This would be a great side dish any time of the year…but, it makes me think of summer because it’s fresh and crisp.

  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed, washed
  • 1/2 a red onion, minced
  • 8-10 baby carrots, sliced thin
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • handful of chives

Dressing

Whip together the following in a small bowl:

  • 2 TB dijon mustard (I used OrganicVille brand)
  • 2TB Mayo
  • healthy glog of extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half (or a whole) a lemon

Rinse and trim the green beans, cut them in half and put them in a large bowl. Add diced red onion, cut carrots and can of chickpeas. In a separate bowl, combine dijon mustard, mayo, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and whip together until smooth. Add dressing to veggies and stir until well-coated. Add some fresh chives too if you like.

Tangy Brussels Sprouts and Purple Cabbage Slaw

Brussels Sprouts and Purple Cabbage Slaw

Brussels Sprouts and Purple Cabbage Slaw

I didn’t feel like roasting brussels sprouts and I had some purple cabbage lying around…so, why not some slaw in December? This recipe comes together very quickly. You can even make the dressing well beforehand and add it later. Note: I used half a 16oz bag of pre-washed sprouts and half a 6 oz container of shredded, washed cabbage because it’s just me and I wanted to used both items later on in the week for another couple recipes.

Slaw

  • 8oz of Brussels Sprouts, thinly sliced/chopped
  • 3-4 oz chopped purple cabbage

Dressing

  • 1 1/2 TB Olive Oil
  • 3 TB mayonaise (plus more to taste)
  • 1 TB Red Wine Vinegar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tsp spicy paprika
  • Dash of crushed red pepper
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Add sliced Brussels and cabbage to a large bowl (you may want to use your kitchen shears to further cut up the veggies) and set aside. For the dressing-use a small bowl and add all ingredients. Use a small whisk or a fork until well blended. Taste as you go and adjust the flavors. Add the dressing to the slaw and stir until well coated. You may find that you have to add a tiny bit more mayo to thicken the dressing, which is what I did. Trust your judgment. Adjust seasonings as needed.