November 23, 2008

Winter Fruit Salad


I made two mistakes with this recipe.


The first was to completely forget about a very specific flavour, and the second was to underestimate the importance of specific ingredients.


Let me tell you what happened, from the beginning. J and I were invited to a potluck and I decided to make a recipe that I saw on Smitten Kitchen for Winter Fruit Salad. It involved a sugar syrup, dried figs, pears and pomegranates, and it sounded intriguing. I know it’s usually not wise to make a new recipe for a potluck, but I was feeling adventurous.








So I went grocery shopping, spending much more than I had anticipated on figs, vanilla beans, and star anise. I also bought garlic oil, noodles, sugar snap peas and sweet chilli sauce for the sesame peanut noodles that J was bringing. Let’s just say I gulped when I got to the cash register. For all that I love our precious Sobey’s, it can be a bit dear.


Later that night I started cooking. It was when the sugar syrup was simmering and I leaned over the pot to smell the steam that I began to realize my first mistake. It had somewhat slipped my mind that star anise has a licorice flavour, and that’s exactly what the syrup smelled like. And licorice … well, it’s not really my favourite flavour. In fact it’s one of my least favourite flavours. Oops.


I soldiered on and finished the recipe, pouring the syrup over the dried figs and apricots, slicing the pears and apples, putting the whole thing in the fridge to chill. I was hoping that I might still like it. But when J and I were riding the subway to the potluck and he opened the bowl to show me the salad, I realized my second mistake, and I pretty much knew that I wouldn’t.








I’m the queen of substitutions and it drives J nuts. Whole wheat flour instead of white (I once made a chocolate cake this way – not recommended, although I still ate it), sage instead of marjoram (big fiasco), . I am usually just trying to be resourceful and use up something we have hanging around in the fridge. It almost always turns out okay. I’ve been using self-rising cake flour in waffles recently, and they always taste great.


In the case of this fruit salad, I didn’t actually substitute a thing. In fact, I made a point of buying exactly everything that was called for, except for Turkish apricots that I couldn’t find. I just didn’t use the exact right ingredient.


The recipe calls for firm Bosc pears. When I decided to make this salad, I already had four Bosc pears sitting on our windowsill, and of course I wasn’t going to go out and buy more. It turns out I should have. Since the pears sit in the sugar syrup for about eight hours, they get a little waterlogged, and my very ripe pears just couldn’t stand it. They collapsed. They cooked. They mushed into slimy slices. It was very sad.


So this salad wasn’t a disaster. I think everybody at the potluck ate some. I didn’t hate it. But the intense licorice flavour combined with the mushy pears definitely didn’t make it a winner. And I thought I would like the figs better. I’m tempted to try it again, without the star anise and using firm pears. But I’ll be honest. It probably won’t be anytime soon.


By the way, J’s Sesame Peanut Noodles were delicious. Worth every penny. I’ve included that recipe too, because I picked it from our Nigella Express cookbook, and it proves that I don’t always make bad potluck decisions.


Winter Fruit Salad

smittenkitchen.com

3/4 cup sugar
3 star anise
1/2 of plump vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
8 dried Turkish apricots, cut in half
4 dried figs, quartered
4 2-inch long pieces lemon zest (peeled with a vegetable peeler) from a Meyer lemon if you can find one
Juice of the zest lemon
3 firm Bosc pears
1 firm tart apple
Seeds from half a pomegranate

1. Fill a medium saucepan with 4 cups water. Add the sugar, star anise, vanilla bean and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, and cook until all the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool for just a few minutes (it should still be hot) and then stir in the dried figs and apricots. Let it cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, peel and core pears and apple. Slice thinly lengthwise and place in a large bowl, and toss with the lemon juice.

3. Once the syrup with dried fruit has cooled, pour it over the apples and pears. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill it overnight in the refrigerator.

4. The next morning, using a slotted spoon, ladle the fruit into a serving bowl, sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and serve. Remove the vanilla beans (you can rinse and save what is left of them for another use) and lemon peels if you wish, or leave them in for decoration.

Do ahead Syrup can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for a day or two. Hot syrup can be poured over the dried fruit and kept in the fridge for a day or so. Prepared salad keeps in the fridge for a day or two, but is best fresh.

Sesame Peanut Noodles

from Nigella Express


This recipe is kind of annoying because it’s all in weights, so you need a scale unless you want to estimate, which you could do too.


For the dressing:

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon garlic oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce

100g smooth peanut butter

1 tablespoons lime juice


For the salad:

125g snow peas

150g beansprouts, rinsed

1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into small strips

2 green onions, finely sliced

550g ready-prepared egg noodles (or regular egg noodles, or you could probably use spaghetti or soba noodles too)

20g sesame seeds

1 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Whisk together all the dressing ingredients in a bowl.


Put the snow peas, beansprouts, red pepper slices, sliced spring onions and noodles in a bowl.


Pour the dressing over them and mix thoroughly to coat everything well.


Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and chopped cilantro.

Serves 8.



November 18, 2008

Cheese Sandwiches

It’s time to play catch up.


I haven’t been very good lately at letting you know how the whole Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone cook-a-meal-a-day thing has been going. And seeing how that’s one of the main reasons I started this blog, I really should be doing better.


Well, I hate to admit it…but we are still in the sandwiches chapter. I know, I know, people. It’s been – what? Two and a half months? Is that really possible?


Yes, yes it is. BUT. We are very nearly done sandwiches, and about to move into the exciting lands of salads and soups! Yes! You can’t even imagine how thrilled I will be to eat something for supper that doesn’t involve two slices of bread.


Not that I’m complaining. The sandwiches have mostly been delicious, and I’ve definitely tried some combinations that I never would have before that I am keeping in my repertoire. Like, for example, some of these:





Cheese Sandwiches


Update:

I'm clearly not a very good blog editor. J was scrolling through my posts and pointed out that I already talked about cheese sandwiches - last month. And shared these photos with you. Heh. Sorry for the lack of memory, and I hope you enjoy hearing about these. Again.


There are three definite keepers here. One of them I had had before – cheese and apple. I remember we had this kids’ cookbook at my house and one of the recipes was for a Happle Bagel Sandwich of something like that – a bagel with cheese and apple. But Deborah Madison shakes it up a bit and adds watercress to make it tart and strong. You could use arugula too, or any other kind of salad greens.


These next two are very grown-up sandwiches. The first is Smoked Mozzarella with Olive Paste and Roasted Peppers. I couldn’t find smoked mozzarella when I made this (of course I saw it at a different grocery store later) so I just used regular, but the sandwich was still delicious. Cover a slice of toasted bread with olive paste* and thin overlapping slices of mozzarella. Broil just long enough to soften the cheese, then crisscross with strips of roasted peppers (you can make these yourself – see how here – or buy them in a jar). Spoon a little pesto or salsa verde over the top (if you don’t have any, I think it would still be good) and shower with freshly milled pepper. The different flavour combinations going on here are delightful and very hearty.





Next we have an Open-Faced Sandwich with Blue Cheese, Pears, and Roasted Nuts. I ate this one at home alone one night when J was out because he is not a fan of blue cheese (although he says he’s determined to like it…eventually.) But this combo is just perfect on a sandwich. Not hard to make, in fact just like it sounds. I have to admit, however: I like blue cheese but the flavour is so strong I can only eat it every once in a while. In fact when I think back to this sandwich I can still almost taste it in my mouth. In a love-hate kinda way.


Grilled Cheese Sandwiches


It’s a classic. And so obvious that you might wonder what it’s doing in this book. But think about it: making and eating a good grilled cheese sandwich has its own pure pleasure. Especially for my husband, who had a habit a few years back of making them for breakfast, and still loves them.


Since your basic grilled cheese only has a few ingredients – bread, butter and cheese – the important thing is to make sure all three are of high quality. (Unless of course, your idea of grilled cheese goes back to your childhood and is Ben’s white bread with Kraft singles. Well, I’m trying my best not to judge you. Such things did not exist in my house when I was a kid, for better of for worse.)


I’m not going to give you Deborah Madison’s “recipe”, cause this is just too easy. You can use any cheese you want, and I don’t even remember what kind I used when I made this. I really like cheddar or jack. Put slices of your cheese between two slices of any sturdy bread. If you really want it to be brilliant, use lots of butter. Enough to cover the bottom of your pan when it melts. When the butter foams, add the sandwich and fry until golden brown. Pick it up and add MORE butter! to your pan. Then fry it on the other side. The cheese will be melty and oozing and the golden crust will be fragrant and crisp. Devour.


Deborah also introduced me to a couple new ways of eating grilled cheese. You can spoon some salsa between the slices after you’ve grilled it, which adds a nice fresh snap of flavour. Or you can make grilled cream cheese sandwiches – subtle, and surprisingly tasty.


It seems I neglected to take any pictures of the grilled cheese sandwiches. Clearly I thought they looked too boring. I’m sure you can imagine them, and then you can go and make your own.


* If you like olives, olive paste is a good thing to have in the fridge, and it adds a bite to many a good sandwich. Deborah’s recipe is one cup olives, ¼ cup capers, 2 small garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 teaspoons chopped fresh), 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil. You whir it all in a blender or food processor until smooth, or keep it kind of chunky if you prefer.



November 16, 2008

The Chicken and the Cow


It’s 2 a.m. J and I have just made an exciting late-night culinary discovery: The Omwich.


J couldn’t decide if he wanted a scrambled egg, or a grilled cheese sandwich. So…he decided to combine them. The Omwich was born.





The Omwich™


Put any available cheese between two pieces of bread. Scramble one egg in a small bowl, and add a splash of milk and some salt and pepper.


Melt some butter in a small frying pan. When it starts to foam, add the sandwich. Fry on both sides until golden brown. Take the sandwich out of the pan and add the egg. Let it sit for a few seconds until it starts to bubble up. Place the sandwich in the middle of the pan. Immediately start stirring the egg around the sandwich until set. Remove from pan.


Serve with a splash of maple syrup.



November 11, 2008

Butternut Squash Galette - for Kate



When I was going to school in Halifax last year, I lived in residence and I didn’t have a kitchen. I went over to my sister’s house a lot to cook with her. As the year went on, I also started going over to my friend Kate’s apartment.


Cooking with Kate was one of the best things about last year (among a lot of good ones). We never made anything fancy or complicated – Kate doesn’t usually cook from recipes, unlike me – but we shared a passion for good food and a love of being in the kitchen. I discovered how much fun it is to cook with a good friend.


We even ended up having weekly dinner parties with her friends Heather, Jenny and Kayley. I always looked forward to Thursday nights, when we would all meet at Kate’s, relax on the couch, cook and drink wine, and have great conversations about absolutely everything.






So when Kate came to visit me in Edmonton last weekend, I knew that we had to find some time to cook together. She was here for less than two days, but I thought we could make supper together on Friday night. I decided on a recipe I had been eyeing in Deborah Madison’s book: Winter Squash Galette.


You know what it’s like when you haven’t seen a friend in a while, but it’s so easy to slip back into being around them?


Being in our kitchen with Kate felt almost like last year again. The galette was easy to make, but it took a while. Between every step we sat at the table and talked. Kate told me more about her trip to Europe last summer, and all the amazing food she ate. As the cooking progressed we both exclaimed about how good it looked, and how excited we were to taste it. After a while we opened a bottle of wine. It was going to be a late supper, but we didn’t care.


(In case you’re wondering, J was around during all this, but he left us alone to cook together.)






After several hours, the apartment smelled amazing, with the squash and sage mingling with the scent of the pastry. I pulled the galette out of the oven. It was golden brown and deep orange, and it looked delicious. I was proud of myself for remembering to fry some sage leaves as a garnish, just like in Deborah’s picture.


Some of our other friends had joined us, and we shared supper with them. The galette was a smash hit. Creamy and flaky, sweet and savoury, it tasted like the essence of fall. The parmesan cheese and the earthiness of the sage danced with the sweet squash and the roasted garlic in every bite.


“This is amazing,” said Kate. “I need to copy down the recipe.”


“Don’t worry,” I said. “I’ll put it up on my blog.”


So here it is, for Kate and for everyone else. This galette is worth the time it takes, even if you don’t have a good friend to make it with. But it will be so much better if you do.








Galette Dough

From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison


2 cups all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/3 to ½ cup ice water, as needed


Mix the flour, salt, and sugar together in a bowl. Cut in the butter by hand or using a mixer with a paddle attachment, leaving some pea-sized chunks. Sprinkle the ice water over the top by the tablespoon and toss with the flour mixture until you can bring the dough together into a ball. Press into a disk and refrigerate for fifteen minutes if the butter feels soft.


Winter Squash Galette

from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison


My one precaution: I found that when I rolled the dough out to about 14 inches, it was quite thin and fragile, and it was difficult to move the galette onto the baking sheet. When I make it again I’m going to roll it out a little bit thicker. Or you could roll it out directly onto the sheet. Also, I baked it on parchment paper just to make sure it wouldn’t stick to the pan.


One batch galette dough

2 ½ pounds winter squash, such as butternut

1 small head garlic, cloves separated but not peeled

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for the squash

1 onion, finely diced

12 fresh sage leaves, chopped, or two teaspoons dried (I used fresh)

½ cup finely grated pecorino or Parmesan

Salt and freshly milled pepper

1 egg, beaten


Make the dough. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds, and brush the cut surface with oil. Stuff the garlic into the cavities and place the squash cut side down on a sheet pan. Bake until the flesh is tender, about 40 minutes. Scoop out the squash and squeeze the garlic cloves. Mash them together with a fork until fairly smooth, leaving some texture.


Warm 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sage and cook until the onion is soft and beginning to colour, about 12 minutes. Add it to the squash along with the grated cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Roll out the dough into a 14-inch circle and spread the filling over it, leaving a border of 2 inches or more. Pleat the dough over the filling, then brush the edges with a beaten egg. Bake until the crust is golden, about 25 minutes.


Garnish with fried sage leaves, if desired.



November 6, 2008

Election Night Cookies


Surely the most important part of U.S. election night? The treats.


I’m joking. But honestly, such is my obsession with anything food-related that I was almost as excited to bake and eat these cookies as I was to watch the results on TV.


J and I were headed to his friend Susan’s house since we don’t have a television. Since I was the one who suggested the gathering, I felt it only right that I bring something to snack one as we watched the red and blue (yes!!) states roll in.





I felt like making cookies, so I trolled the recipe archives of one of my favourite blogs, smitten kitchen, looking for ideas. I knew I wanted something that could be made in advance, since I wouldn’t have time to make cookies after work on Tuesday before going over. A few recipes jumped out at me – for icebox cookies.


Icebox cookies – otherwise known as slice-and-bake – are like homemade Pillsbury. They’re very convenient because you can chill the dough for up to several days, or freeze it for a few months until you need it. The two recipes I picked – one for sugar cookies (I made the lemon poppyseed variation) and one for chocolate cookies – looked very simple.





And they were! I made them both in one night with no difficulty, formed the dough into logs, and chilled it until the next morning, when I baked them.


And the results?




Well, to be honest, not as thrilling as those of the election. Here are the official results of the Little Red Kitchen Icebox Cookie Bake-Off:


Chocolate:


These cookies, just like Obama, hit the ball out of the park. They were slightly firm on the outside and moist on the inside, with a nice crumbly texture. They also had just the right amount of chocolatey flavour, from cocoa and chocolate chips, that married perfectly with a slight saltiness. Ten out of ten.


Lemon:


My friends, these cookies were only a bit more promising than McCain’s chances of winning Tuesday night. I like plain, simple cookies, and have an adoration for all things lemon, so I had high hopes. But they didn’t really have much flavour – neither sweet enough or lemony enough. Maybe it was the powdered sugar? I’m no cookie scientist, so I’m not sure what’s wrong with this recipe, but even the zest and poppy seeds didn’t jazz them up enough. I took the leftovers into work today to foist on my colleagues. I do have another whole log of dough in the freezer though, so I might sprinkle some extra sugar on top when I bake them some time. Five out of ten.





The only problem with the chocolate cookies: they crumbled when I sliced them.


I think I’ll always remember where I was the night Obama won the election. Maybe when I tell my kids about it, I’ll also add, “Oh yeah, and that was the first night Mom ever made those great chocolate cookies you guys love so much!”







Election Night Chocolate Cookies

From Paris Sweets By Dorie Greenspan

The only problem I had with this recipe was when it came to slicing them. They were in the fridge overnight, but the dough was so crumbly that they started falling apart as I sliced them. My trick was to immediately press the slice together with my fingers so it wouldn’t fall apart. It worked!

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

Makes about 36 cookies

Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.

Turn off the mixer. Pour in the flour, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and your kitchen from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. Take a peek — if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of times more; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough — for the best texture, work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don’t be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you’ve frozen the dough, you needn’t defrost it before baking — just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)

GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Working with a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. (The rounds are likely to crack as you’re cutting them — don’t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them.

Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes — they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can serve them or let them reach room temperature.

SERVING: The cookies can be eaten when they are warm or at room temperature — I prefer them at room temperature, when the textural difference between the crumbly cookie and the chocolate bits is greatest — and are best suited to cold milk or hot coffee.

STORING: Packed airtight, cookies will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days (Deb note: not a chance); they can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Slice-and-Bake Cookies – from smittenkitchen.com
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan

Makes about 50 cookies

2 sticks (8 ounces; 230 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoons vanilla or almond extract
2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour

Options:

  • Mix in grated zest of 2 oranges and 1/2 cup dried cranberries (I finely chopped them)
  • Mix in grated zest of 2 lemons; coat with or mix in 1/4 cup poppy seeds (I mixed the poppy seeds in)
  • Mix in grated zest of 2 limes; coat with 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • Mix in 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots; coat with or mix in 1/2 cup finely chopped pistachios
  • Mix in 1/2 cup mini chocolate or peanut-butter chips
  • Mix in 1/4 cup finely chopped candied ginger; coat with or mix in 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • Swap ¼ cup of flour for unsweetened cocoa
  • Swap ½ to 1 cup of flour for ground almonds, pecans, hazelnuts or walnuts

1. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. (Or just use an electric mixer.) Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky. Beat in the egg yolks, followed by the salt and any dried fruits, zest, nuts or seeds. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat at this point; if the flour isn’t fully incorporated, that’s okay just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

2. Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches (2.5 to 3.2 cm) thick. (Get the thickness right, and the length you end up with will be fine.) Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)

3. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. While the oven is preheating, roll cookie logs in any coatings of your choice. Then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/3 inch (10 mm) thick. (You can make the cookies thicker if you’d like; just bake them longer.) Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) space between them.

5. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.

Keeping: Packed airtight, the cookies will keep for about 5 days at room temperature, or in the freezer for a month. Unbaked logs can be frozen for longer.










November 3, 2008

Cornbread


So I lied. I haven’t given you my cornbread recipe. And believe me, it’s worth giving.


But I can’t really take credit. It’s not my recipe. The one I make now is mostly attributed to the Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbook, with a little inspiration from Deborah Madison thrown in.


I started baking the Moosewood cornbread during my undergrad. I think it was because of a summer meal after my first year, when my friends Gavin and Phil came to visit me on P.E.I. They were at my house for supper and my sister Claire made vegetarian chilli and a huge platter of this cornbread. I fell in love with it. We ate outside in our backyard under the poplar trees. I remember my Dad telling Phil and Gavin stories about his younger days, when he drank lime ricky sandwiches.


(Lime Ricky is a kind of pop only made, to my knowledge, by the Seaman's bottling company on P.E.I. A Lime Ricky Sandwich, according to my Dad, was a shot of moonshine, a shot of lime ricky, and another shot of moonshine. I believe he drank these around the tender age of sixteen. By the time I was old enough to notice, he had long since switched to Captain Morgan on the rocks.)




I photocopied the recipe and started baking the cornbread myself when I got back to university later that year. I’ve been making it ever since. It became a hit with my roommates, particularly Rachael who actually started calling me Cornbread, a nickname that lasted right up until graduation (and possibly persists to this day).


So you see, this cornbread recipe comes with a lot of history attached. Treat it with respect. Make often, and enjoy unadorned, with butter and jam, or with a slice of aged cheddar cheese.


I’ve often meant to try a different cornbread recipe, or at least add some corn kernels, grated cheese, and/or diced green chiles to my basic recipe, as I’ve seen in so many other places. But I still haven’t gotten around to it. I guess that means this one is pretty darn good.




Isabelle’s Cornbread


Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics and Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison


Using butter in the pan means it comes out golden-crisped and fragrant. A Deborah Madison trick!


2 Tablespoons butter

1 cup cornmeal

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup whole-wheat flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 eggs

¼ cup vegetable oil

2 to 4 tablespoons honey to taste

1 cup milk (soy works fine) or plain yogourt


Preheat the oven to 425. Put the butter in an 8-inch square baking pan and put the pan in the oven while it’s heating. Meanwhile, stir the dry ingredients together and make a well in the centre of the bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. As soon as the oven is hot, remove the pan and brush the butter around the edges. Pour any excess into the wet ingredients. Quickly mix the wet and dry ingredients together, then pour the batter into the pan and bake in the middle of the oven until golden brown on top and beginning to pull away from the edges, about 25 minutes.