Our kitchen was so full of hustle bustle this year (hey, let’s face it…every year!) that I just couldn’t even think about taking pictures of the cooking process for most of our dishes. I did manage to sneak in a few shots of the bacon-wrapped brussels sprouts, but I’ll do that as a separate entry. Here, I’m going to focus on the bread-like dishes. These pictures are just mined from the interwebz. All of these recipes were tried for the first time and all turned out so good I simply have to share the joy! Go and make them…then come back and tell me how your family liked them! By the way, comments making any reference whatsoever to calories, fat content, or weight gain will be immediately deleted! Other than that, comment away! LOL!
I’ve tried at least a half dozen recipes for spoon bread and have been disatisfied every time. Then, my stepson Matt mentioned he’d had the perfect spoon bread at a Thanksgiving table several years back. He got the recipe for us and we made it this year to RAVE reviews! The key…and I am telling you this is key…is the use of Jiffy Corn Bread Mix. From scratch recipes and other corn bread mixes just didn’t come out with the intense flavor and texture that reminds me of my favorite Mexican restaurant’s spoon bread. This one is da bomb!
1 Box Jiffy Corn Bread Mix
1 stick of butter, melted
1 8 oz. can of whole corn, drained
1 8 oz. can of cream style corn
1 cup sour cream (I prefer Daisy brand)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
Melt the butter and combine the Jiffy mix, corns, sour cream, and beaten eggs in a large bowl. Pour into a 1.5 quart greased casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until center is firm. Serve warm.
I doubled this recipe and used a 9×13 glass baking dish with outstanding results. The bread will be dense, very moist, and utterly delicious!
For our follow-up Thanksgiving dinner Sunday evening with a different group of family, I tried a bread pudding recipe from Penzey’s One magazine. If you haven’t yet discovered the amazing world of Penzey’s Spices, I encourage you to go visit their website, subscribe to their magazine, and…most importantly…throw away every dried herb and spice in your cupboard and replace them all with Penzey’s. You will be astounded at the difference in your tried and true receipes. The magazine always has great receipes…many from readers…and I have never, ever, had a bad result using their recipes and spices. Going Penzey’s has transformed our kitchen and our culinary life!
This recipe is over 100 years old and was contributed by a Penzey’s One reader whose family has passed it down. I can see why it has endured, though I have modified it slightly to round out a few ingredients. It calls for a whiskey sauce, which I made the first night, but then made a non-alcoholic vanilla sauce the next night. Both versions are included below.
16 day-old hamburger buns, torn in large pieces
(Leave them exposed to the air, opened up and spread out on a baking sheet overnight. You want most of the moisture out of the bread. Big pieces yield lots of texture, smaller pieces make a smooth, wet pudding. I prefer the large chunks.)
1 14-oz can evaporated milk (not sweetened, not condensed)
4 cups milk (lower fat milks are okay, not skim)
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 eggs, beaten
3 tbs cinnamon (oh, yes…go heavy here)
2 tbs plus 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 – 1/4 cup whiskey
Non-alcoholic alternative is to substitue 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp imitation rum extract for the whiskey, or 1 tsp vanilla extract and leave out the rum extract altogether.
Preheat over to 400 degrees. In a large bowl (I needed a punch bowl as my largest mixing bowl was too small), combine the ripped up buns, canned milk and evaporated milk and let soak for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together the sugar, eggs, cinnamon, and vanilla to make a gorgeous goop! Add to the bread and milk and mix well with a wooden spoon. Take care not to mash the bread chunks too much. Pour into an ungreased 9×13 pan and drizzle the melted butter over the top. If you have a larger one, you may want to choose it, or else place the pan on a lipped cookie sheet. This will rise high in the oven. and some of the butter may spill out. Bake until lightly browned and no longer wiggly, about 50 minutes. Carefully remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Bread will settle and melted butter that may be pooled on top will soak in.
To make the whiskey sauce, combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Pour 1-2 tablespoons over individual servings of warm bread pudding.
Well, there you have it. That oughta keep you away from the scale for a while! I must confess, I’ve been going back for midnight snacks of this bread pudding…and I never do that! Something about the warmth and the texture and the cinnamon flavor tastes even better snuggled in bed in front of the tv! Note that I am not officially recommending that to you…it’s more of a confession, really.
Please comment…they are my favorite snack food of all!
Your Daily Bread
Deuteronomy 16:14 And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates. 15 Seven days you shall keep a sacred feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses, because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you surely rejoice.