Trail’s End cornbread

This cornbread would give my grandmother the vapors. It is sweet (which I love — don’t tell her), which makes it Yankee Cornbread. I actually cut the sugar some, and it’s still fabulously sweet without being, you know, a cake. I also cut the recipe in half which made a great size (an 8 inch skillet) for us.

The recipe is originally from Disney’s Trail’s End, but I found it linked here.

Trail’s End cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter or bacon grease

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven AND SKILLET to 375F
  2. Mix together cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, and flour with a fork
  3. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add in milk and egg; beat egg with fork, then stir to combine all ingredients
  4. Remove hot skillet from oven and add butter or bacon grease (carefully! It will sizzle) to skillet, swirling around till it melts and coats the pan
  5. Pour excess butter/bacon grease into cornbread mixture, stir quickly to combine, then pour back into hot skillet and slide it into the oven
  6. Bake until lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes

Pop up pancake

Helloooooo, easiest breakfast ever!

My friend Vanessa gave me this recipe, and it’s insane levels of tasty and yummy.

Pop up pancake

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs

Instructions

  1. Heat your oven to 425F
  2. Mix up the milk, flour, salt, and eggs until well combined — doing this in the blender is quick and easy
  3. Melt the butter in a medium cast iron skillet (or Vanessa does this in a glass Pyrex dish), then add the batter and pop it in the oven
  4. Bake until the pancake is golden brown and all puffed up, about 15 minutes or so

Other flavoring and fun options:

  • Add vanilla or lemon zest to the batter
  • Use orange juice instead of milk
  • Dust with powdered sugar
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar

 

What else? What would you do with it?

North Carolina pie

This recipe comes from Crook’s Corner restaurant in Chapel Hill, N.C. by way of Katie Workman, by way of NPR. It was tweeted and retweeted and favorited all over the place till I decided I just had to try it out. This turned out to be an excellent decision.

It’s very similar in construction to key lime pie , with the obvious difference of a Saltine crust, which is fabulous. This pie is sweet and tart and salty all at once — everything a summer dessert should be.

North Carolina pie

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sleeves Saltine crackers
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • whipped cream and coarse sea salt for garnish (which I completely forgot)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Crush the crackers pretty finely, but not to complete dust. Add the sugar and knead in the butter till the mixture holds together like dough
  3. Press into an 8 inch pie pan, chill for 15 minutes, then bake for 18 minutes or until the crust is slightly browned
  4. While the crust is partially cooling, beat the egg yolks and milk together, then mix in citrus juice, making sure everything is completely combined. Pour into the pie shell (it doesn’t need to be completely cooled), and bake for 16 minutes or until the filling has set
  5. Chill pie completely now, and serve with fresh whipped cream and a sprinkling of sea salt

Make this. You will not be sorry. :)

Pan-roasted chicken thighs

I kind of never know what to do with chicken thighs. Chicken breasts? No problem. Ditto whole chickens. But I wasn’t sure what to do with chicken thighs till I saw this recipe, which looked simple and delicious. The end result is fantastic! Very tasty, with crispy skin that makes it seem like you’re eating fried chicken.

Pan-roasted chicken thighs

Ingredients

  • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 475F. This takes my oven about two and a half years to accomplish, so start early
  2. Put the chicken pieces on a paper towel-lined plate, and season well with salt and pepper
  3. Heat oil over fairly high heat in a cast iron or other heavy skillet big enough to hold your chicken without it being too crowded
  4. Put chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook two minutes; reduce heat to medium-high and set a timer for 12 minutes; you’re looking for crispy, golden brown skin on the chicken, so move it around as needed to make it evenly browned
  5. Transfer your skillet to the oven and cook for 13 minutes; flip the chicken skin side up and continue cooking till it’s cooked through, about 5-8 more minutes
  6. Transfer to a plate and let it rest five minutes before serving

 

I will warn you that this was crazy levels of smoky in my oven; you might want to turn the fan on before you get this going. But it was SO GOOD and SO WORTH IT. Let me know if you try it!

Coca-cola pot roast

I’m freezing. Are y’all freezing? It’s prime comfort food time for me, and this delivers.  A librarian printed this recipe out for me once and I promptly lost the paper; I make it from memory now, and I’m not sure of the original source. Regardless of its origins, it’s hot and tasty and definitely fall-off-the-bone tender.

Coca-cola pot roast

Ingredients

  • Chuck roast, about 4 pounds
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 Tbsp. salt (coarse/kosher salt, ideally)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 packet French onion soup mix
  • 1 can Coca-cola
  • Baby carrots or chopped carrots

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F and heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stovetop
  2. Season the roast with salt and pepper, then sear the roast on all sides in the Dutch oven till it’s nice and brown
  3. Sprinkle over the garlic powder and onion soup mix, pour in the Coke and add in the carrots around the roast; put a lid on it and stick the whole thing in the oven
  4. Cook till the internal temp of the roast is 165F; this will take about three hours or so depending on your oven and the size of the roast. Let it rest for about ten minutes before serving

… and may I suggest serving with mashed potatoes? Trust me.

Bonus: you can also make this in the slow cooker so it’s ready when you get home at night. Please to enjoy.

Flour tortillas

These. Are. Amazing. I can say that without bragging because it’s not my recipe; I just made ‘em.

This is a Mark Bittman recipe that I scribbled down on a piece of paper without much documentation; I’ll assume it’s either from one of his NYT articles or from How to Cook Everything. These top every single homemade tortilla I’ve ever made or eaten, and they’re quick and easy to boot. NO BRAINER.

Flour tortillas

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (7 oz) AP flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp. lard (yes, lard, people — don’t be afraid)
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Instructions

  1. Dust off your food processor and dump in the flour, salt and lard; pulse about ten times to cut in the fat
  2. With the machine running, add the water till the dough kind of all the sudden comes together in a ball
  3. Dump it on the counter and knead by hand for about one minute, then wrap in plastic wrap to rest for at least 15 minutes, but up to all day at room temperature
  4. Cut the dough into six pieces and heat a large (cast iron if you have it) skillet for 4-5 minutes on medium; roll out or press the tortillas till they’re quite thin, then cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side, till little browned spots appear. Eat immediately (duh), or keep warm by wrapping in a towel, or cool then keep in the fridge in a large zip top bag.

I used these to make quesadillas with some leftover steak and cheese, but they’re also heavenly for veggie wraps, or slathered in butter and cinnamon sugar and rolled up for breakfast. Enjoy!

 

Honey soy chicken

Y’all, I have somehow done it again. AGAIN I have a lovely camera lens that is now in two pieces. I don’t even know how, but I do know that iPhone photos of food aren’t quite the same. Better than nothing, though, right?

This is based on the Honey Roast Orange Chicken recipe from The Minimalist Cooks at Home by Mark Bittman. The Yankee and I both loved it!

Honey soy chicken

Ingredients

  • You will need:
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (lower sodium kind is great)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Combine everything but chicken in a bowl and whisk to combine
  3. Lay chicken breasts in a single layer in a cast iron skillet or baking dish and spoon over about half the sauce
  4. Bake at 375F for about 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through, turning over halfway through cooking to keep it evenly coated in the sauce
  5. When chicken is done move it to a plate to rest, then pour remaining sauce into the skillet; cook uncovered on medium high until sauce reduces and thickens
  6. Slice chicken into strips (against the grain) and serve over rice and vegetables, using thickened sauce to finish it all off. So tasty!

This was so fast and easy. Let me know what you think!