I Was Tempted To Call This "soul Food," But Let's Just Call It "corn Bread."

Discussion in 'Recipes and Cooking' started by TezriLi, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. #1 TezriLi, Aug 27, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
    Yield not to temptation.

    So I have never liked corn bread. Didn't like my momma's. Didn't like our southern relatives'. Didn't like it in any restaurant down South, southern Midwest, and certainly do not like on the northern West Coast. Down South, it was too dry. In the Midwest, lots of different kinds and none were good. On the northern West Coast, they make it sweet! Like cake! Ewww! It's like eating grainy cake! -- And that's part of the cornbread problem: the texture.

    However, my family came from the South. I also lived in Mississippi for 3.5 years. I choose to live in the North West, and would not change that, but I want to embrace my southern roots. I have even, over the last couple years, embraced writing "y'all" and I would say "y'all," if I thought of it. Further, over some years, I have actually embraced, and I celebrate, some of the southern attitudes -- the sweet ones, anyway, not the other outmoded ones, of course.

    I don't like most soul food with the exception of grits, which I love. Don't like collards. Don't like buttermilk. Don't like "greens." Don't like turnips unless they are raw. WON'T eat pig or use pig grease. (Not kosher, but also, think: Robert Pickton.) Won't eat catfish or crawfish (not kosher). Had some hushpuppies in Minnesota that I really liked. Anyway....

    So I keep thinking, "I should like cornbread." I want to like cornbread! I mean I really want to. So I am set on this adventure to like it.

    I bought two cast iron pans and treated them: a little pan divided for 8 sections of pie-shaped cornbread and a Dutch oven for cornbread and other foods. I followed the instructions for seasoning cast iron, but I am so unsure that they are treated correctly.

    My reason? They both still have thick areas of the oil in the bottom. And when I scraped at them, the scraping raised red (!!) crumbly stuff. Yes, I scrubbed at them initially, because I read that when new, they are covered in a wax. I never saw wax: I just did what they said to do. Then I rubbed on peanut oil and put them in the oven at 450 degrees F for an hour. I let them cool completely then did it again twice more. Thought I was ready to bake in them -- but the red crumbly stuff....

    I am thinking I will bake cornbread this Wednesday (tomorrow) anyway. We can throw away any parts of the crust that have red stuff, and maybe that will clean the pan finally.

    Thinking that I will flavor the cornbread with taco seasoning, finely chopped onions and bell pepper, and some whole kernel corn. Thought I would put yogurt in it. Serve it with butter. Maybe I will like it then.
  2. First, did you scrub the pans with steel wool to clean them initially?
    Second, if you did not, do so. If you had, clean them again with the water, soap and the steel wool.
    Third, slap the pan onto a screaming hot burner to dry it properly.
    Fourth, once dry heat the over up to the highest setting for 30 minutes. Then place the pan in and leave it for another 30. THEN wipe with oil soaked paper towels, use the thick good kind. And some tongs. Do it while screaming hot. Place back in oven and turn oven off. :et the oven and pan cool.
    Fifth, get finely ground corn flour to make your bread. The results will be more of the texture you wish. If you cannot buy it, then make it by processing it in a food processor in batches to the right consistency.
    TezriLi likes this.
  3. Why not greens?

    Try this.
    Take greens and roughly chop them.
    Add either vegetable, chicken or half beef and half chicken stock.
    Salt and pepper.
    A bay leaf.
    And a smoked turkey drumstick.

    Bring the whole thing to a boil, lower to a simmer. Cook until JUST done. Kill the heat and remove the drumstick and pull the meat off return to pot.

    The big issue is overcooked greens. Don't do that.

    As for turnips.

    Cut and peel them.
    Toss them with a mix of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh chopped thyme, salt and pepper.
    Roast about 25 minutes 450F/230C.

    You can also do them with sweet or regular potatoes and exchange rosemary as well.

    You can jazz it up with some nutmeg or allspice or mace. Have fun, experiment.
    TezriLi likes this.
  4. No - not with steel wool. I think I am more comfortable with your instructions. I am redoing it, even though it scares me to raise the oven heat that high. I am determined to do this. Thank you!
  5. I just never liked these foods. Admittedly, Mother was an atrocious cook but a great baker. For meals, she only knew how to do soul food, so I stayed very, very skinny as a child. I just didn't eat, normally, except at school.

    I tried mustard and other greens, chopped finely, raw, in salad. All too bitter.

    I do love roasted vegies. Maybe this would make me like turnips.

    I'll keep your ideas in mind. Thank you again!
  6. Steel wool was in every kitchen during the days of cast iron. It is an essential for those types of pans.

    Bad for aluminum and teflon but good for iron and steel.

    Be careful though in handling the pan. Get yourself some really heavy duty gloves. I use welder gloves myself when handling a pan that hot
    for cooking.

    I personally do not like grits, but I do love hominy whole. Do a great dish with butter, sage, hominy and bacon. You can use the turkey kind to avoid the pork. I recipe is a mod of a basic gnocchi dish. I went with hominy as I had no already baked potatoes on hand to make gnocchi.
    TezriLi likes this.
  7. Ok I can see why you do not like greens.

    Finely chopped greens of mustard or collards means more cell walls are broken.

    This allows the contents within to leach out in large amounts. These are bitter greens and so will only make it more bitter.

    Same goes with garlic. Fine garlic will have a strong taste than sliced.

    So rough chop and cook.
    Also when adding bitter greens to salads, to reduce the bitterness rough chop, blanch in salted water then shock in an ice bath.

    Then add them to the salad sparingly.

    You'll get a better taste that way.
    TezriLi likes this.
  8. Never liked regular hominy either. Does it always come in cans? Can it be bought some other way? I'm just not into canned vegetables.

    As for gloves, I have a pair of those "OveGloves." http://www.asseenontv.com/the-ove-glove/detail.php?p=295536 In my opinion, they are better than any of my other gloves, but they, too, have their limits.

    Is there any way lima beans can be made edible? I got many, many spankings over lima beans. . . . No, don't bother. Not gonna eat them. Not even when someone calls them "butter beans." NOT, NOT, NOT! I'll throw them behind the washing machine as I did when a child! Only problem with that is they would be awfully hard to clean up back there at my house!
  9. ...BBBut I would still have to chew them...!
  10. Goya has dried hominy in bags, you simply simmer them to soften and make like the canned stuff.

    As for Limas. Cook them until al dente, drain and let cool.
    Sweat onion and garlic in a pan with olive oil until soft. Add stewed tomatoes, fresh basil and cook down for an hour to reduce, add salt.
    In a baking dish add in the beans, tomatoes and sprinkle goat cheese on the tip third and some dried breadcrumbs. Back on the top third of the oven until brown and bubbly.
    While baking made a pesto with basil, pine buts and olive oil.
    When done let the baked dish cool slightly, serve as a side with some of the pesto on top.

    You'll like these beans.
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  11. Yes but they will be less bitter.
    And that fibre is good for you.
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  12. Using wire wool on Teflon is, I think, how to turn your "non stick" pan into a "always will stick" pan in one clumsy stroke of the hand.
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  13. Of course.

    Though a small well seasoned cast iron can be just as non stick. And it is oven friendly.
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  14. Hey. That almost sounds good! I could actually like them that way. Hmmmmm.

    Mother used so start them, cook them all day, let them sit overnight in the stove with the heat off, then cook them again until dinner time. Oh, retch! And they had those globules of bubbly pig fat in them, which we were forced to eat. I am not feeling good, thinking about that. Gross!

    There was no such thing as fresh vegetables in our house, unless we sneaked them while they were raw. She wouldn't eat any vegetable until it had been cooked for hours. Oh, except for tomatoes! We had tomato sandwiches on white bread with mayo. Yum! Now, of course, I use healthy bread, but Northwest tomatoes just are not good, compared to southern tomatoes.
  15. Think maybe I'll get my fiber somewhere else...:D
  16. I am So Tired of all these fancy non-stick pans that I soon cannot clean up well on the outsides, then on the inside, no matter what.....
  17. My mother is happier with than cast that I am but she grew up in a time/place where she was used to an old cast stove as part of the house fire. She's far more used to things heating up/cooling slowly than I (a rare cook and preferring stainless for pans and gas [where we have it, we don't have it here]) am.
  18. Maybe they are not the right choice for you. Once you have broken the surface, they are gone, I think. Different people do seem,to me, to like different stoves and pots. Possibly you want something more up to rougher handling. We do have a small frying pan with a coating that works well but but we as a family have broken too many "non stick".
    TezriLi likes this.
  19. #19 boltardy, Aug 27, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
    I got things wrong this year and we didn't get the crops I'd hoped for but in our small greenhouses, I try to grow two different types - one for salad and one for cooking sort of thing. We also try some outdoors. Anyway back to the greenhouses.

    Not sure it is around in the US but ,this year, I just went for. Ailsa Craig is a long established variety good with a salad. It's a "popular old standard" if you like.

    Plum ones seem to offer more richness for cooking. This year I tried San Maranzo but other years have grown Roma
    TezriLi likes this.
  20. I have taken many a food that people would turn their nose up at and make it something they crave.

    If you hate a food, it is most likely because it was not prepared right.

    I hated Brussels Sprouts because my mum used to cook them traditional. X's at the bottom, stuck in a pot boiled to olive drab.

    But when I learned these lil gems were cabbage, well then slaw, stir fry and quick cooking methods were the order of the day.

    There is always a solution for poorly cooked food.
    Angela333, TH420X and TezriLi says Amen and like this.

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