Jalapeño Cornbread with Honey Butter
Makes 1 iron skillet full, or about 8 pieces of cornbread
2 heaping tablespoons bacon drippings
1 cup self-rising white cornmeal (Martha White or White Lily)
Pinch of soda
2/3 cup buttermilk plus more to thin batter
2-3 small Jalapeño peppers, sliced into rounds
2 tablespoons honey 1 stick butter, room temperature
Melt bacon drippings in a 9- to 10-inch iron skillet. Reserve 1 tablespoon, and grease skillet with the rest. Place skillet in the oven to heat. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix together cornmeal, flour, soda, egg, buttermilk, and reserved bacon drippings to form a batter. Stir in jalapeños. Pour batter into hot skillet, return to oven and back for about 20 minutes, until top turns light golden brown.
Meanwhile, whip honey into butter. Serve cornbread hot with honey butter.
There are some flavor combinations heaven sent to earth – tasty duos, trios and ensembles that sing with delight for our mere mortal existence. Tomatoes and onions baked in a pie is such a combo. When shared with dearest of friends, well, the dish just gets better and better.
1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter Salt Freshly ground black pepper
1 recipe Tart Dough turned savory,* or a prepared pie crust
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1 ½ grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 cup chopped fresh basil, or ½ cup chopped rosemary
1 cup mayonnaise**
3-4 vine-ripened tomatoes, thinly sliced and drained**
1 ½ cups crushed Ritz crackers, optional
Basil or rosemary for garnish, optional
In a skillet, brown the onion in oil (for the hot temperature) and butter (for flavor) over medium to medium-high heat. Browning ensures that every bit of the sweetness will come through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Mold a batch of Savory Tart Dough into a crust for a pie pan. Fork or pinch the edges for a pretty result on the pan’s edge.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix together the Cheddar cheese, ½ cup of Parmesan, basil and mayo with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the browned onion.
Starting with the tomatoes, layer the tomatoes and cheese mixture in the pie shell. Top with crushed crackers and then the remaining Parmesan. In lieu of a cracker crumb topping, a top pie crust is apropos; or use none at all; the topping is merely gilding the lily.
Bake about 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese and tomatoes are bubbly. Garnish the sliced pie with basil or rosemary. I love to serve this with a tomato and onion salad so my guests can savor the textures and flavors of both the raw and cooked versions of the produce.
*Change the Tart Dough recipe to savory by substituting Parmesan cheese for the sugar in the recipe.
**Mayo is my first taste preference for this pie, but sour cream or a sour cream and cream cheese mixture is also quite tasty.
***Sprinkling the ‘maters’ with sea salt will help them “sweat” out some moisture.
What a perfect name for a lovely drink! Taking the fiery redness of strawberries and blending it with the calming color of cream, one will find the most beautiful pink drink to serve your friends and family. When strawberry season is at its peak, this drink is fabulously delicious. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and you have strawberries and cream in a drink!
They say gentlemen prefer blondes… well, this gentlemen will take this Strawberry Blonde any day!
2 cups of strawberries, tops removed
1 cup of milk (I use 2%)
3 cups of heavy whipping cream (for drink and garnish respectively)
¼ cup of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of good vanilla
Blend strawberries, milk, 1 ½ cups of cream, sugar, and vanilla together until fluffy and smooth. Add ice to the blender for slush.
The Farmer’s Whipped Vanilla Bean Crème Fraiche…
Whipped Cream, Y’all
There is a bit of art to whipping cream. Here are a few of this Farmer’s tips and my recipe… master this and you’ll have so many friends and family wanting a finger licking taste, you’ll have to give out numbers!
- ALWAYS use a metal (copper or stainless steel) or glass bowl. Ceramic is fine too. Plastic won’t cut it.
- ALWAYS use cold cream and GOOD vanilla beans and vanilla extract. This is one delicacy you’ll truly taste the vanilla and you want the best.
- I use my vanilla sugar (vanilla bean pod infused sugar) for that added richness and depth of flavor.
- Whip, mix, whisk until the cream forms soft peaks and just looks right… It shouldn’t be runny in the least after mixing and can be stored in the fridge for a few days. It will get runny on a hot piece of pie, but that’s perfectly apropos!
The Farmer’s Whipped Vanilla Bean Crème Fraiche
- 2 cups of heavy whipping cream or crème fraiche… Whipping cream is more of a liquid and crème fraiche can be more solid. Use more sugar if using crème fraiche and a scant less for whipping cream since it is slightly sweeter.
- Tablespoon of good vanilla
- Scant teaspoon of scraped vanilla bean pod’s inside. We eat with our eyes first, so seeing those vanilla bean specks is a visual appetizer of the glory divine to come.
- Scant tablespoon of vanilla sugar. Cook’s note – I don’t like heavily sweetened whipped cream. I love the taste of whipped cream by itself…the sugar just sweetens the pot, literally! Add more sugar if you prefer, but, trust me, the actual taste of whipped cream on its own is delicious!
- Beat until it begins to form soft peaks that can stand on their own and no longer runny!
- Serve with just about anything and it will be delicious I’m sure! Enjoy!