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Archive for the ‘Main Dishes’ Category

Earlier this morning, Laura of Heavenly Homemakers posted this yummy recipe for sloppy corn muffins.

Laura's Sloppy Corn Muffins

From Heavenly Homemakers: Sloppy Corn Muffins

It looked so simple and so good, I made up a quick batch just in time for lunch.  And not surprisingly, it was a huge hit, so I now have one more great recipe that can be made almost entirely from ingredients I always have on hand.

I sincerely hate to mess with muffin cups if I can avoid it (unless the children are helping, and they were busy with schoolwork today) so ours was baked in a hot cast iron skillet instead.  I love the way the edges get brown and crispy when you use a skillet, but it will work just fine if you bake it in an ordinary 9 x 13 pan.

Sloppy Corn Bread

Sloppy Corn Bread

Ingredients:

1 recipe Corn Bread

1/2 recipe Sloppy Joes

Directions:  Heat 2 – 12 inch skillets in a 350 degree oven.  Melt a little butter oil or coconut oil into each, maybe about 2 tablespoons.  Once the skillets are good and hot, pour half the cornbread batter into each pan and top it with spoons full of sloppy joe meat.  Bake both for about 20 minutes, or until the middle tests clean with a toothpick.

Corn Bread Batter

Corn Bread Batter

Sloppy Joe

Sloppy Joe

Sloppy Corn Bread Skillet

Sloppy Corn Bread Skillet

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My good friend Christine and I used to get together for once-a-month-cooking now and then, and share good recipes and even better conversation.  This one is hers.  It freezes well, but the best thing about it is that everyone loves it.

Serve it on a bun or bake it into cornbread when you don’t have any buns on hand.

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

1 small onion, chopped

1 tablespoon rapadura (If you live in TN, get this healthy sugar in bulk through our co-op!)

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Brown the ground beef with the onion.  Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes.

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This recipe is a staple in our house.  The ingredients are always on hand.  Everyone always likes it.  And it’s so good with so many things, like baked beans, chili, scrambled eggs and sauerkraut salsa, even just simple soft butter.

We use 100% corn meal instead of including some unbleached flour, so it’s gluten free, and we soak it in kefir.  Kefir seems to work much better than yogurt or buttermilk to give a nice light texture and higher rise.

Ingredients:

3 cups cornmeal

2 1/2 cups kefir

3 eggs

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon Celtic sea salt (If you live in TN, get this amazing salt cheaper when we order it wholesale through our co-op!)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 cup melted butter

2 tablespoons butter oil or coconut oil

First, ideally the night before you’re going to be baking, combine 3 cups cornmeal with 2 1/2 cups kefir.  Cover the bowl and soak overnight, or up to 12 hours.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat a large cast iron skillet in a 35o degree oven.  (Alternatively, you can bake in a buttered 9 x 13 pan, but don’t preheat it.)  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter oil or coconut oil in the skillet.

Combine the eggs, honey, salt, baking soda and melted butter in a bowl and add the soaked cornmeal, but don’t over mix.

Pour the mixture into the hot skillet, and bake for about 20 minutes.  The edges will become a nice crispy brown (if you’re baking in the skillet, that is).

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I’m not one to buy ready made sausage – I just don’t trust the grocery store to use decent ingredients and tend to concoct my own recipes anyway.  I came up with this one last summer to accompany some grilled fresh veggies from my garden, but I use it for everything, from spaghetti sauce to Sausage Vegetable Noodle Soup and everywhere else sausage comes in handy.

I use grass fed beef for this recipe since I’ve never thought much of pork, nutritionally speaking, but it’s really the seasonings that make it what it is.  Feel free to use it with any kind of meat; even ground venison or turkey would probably make good sausage.

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef

3 teaspoons sea salt

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon garlic, minced or finely grated

2 tablespoons lightly packed, finely chopped fresh parsley

Directions:

1.  Over medium low heat, lightly toast the fennel seeds in a small skillet.  Then grind them in a spice mill.

2.  Mix the ground beef with all the seasonings in a medium bowl.

3.  It’s best to cover at this point and place the bowl in the fridge so the flavors have a chance to blend, but you can use it right away.  Form it into meatballs, brown it in a skillet, or freeze it to use later 🙂

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Every Friday night, one of my children cooks with me.  I can get the girls cooking with me most any night, but not the boys.  They’d rather be digging, building or getting into trouble.  So our Friday night tradition is my way of making certain our boys grow up with the ability to prepare at least a  handful of their favorite dishes.  And it’s working.  The chosen child gets to choose the meal and a dessert, help prepare it and set the table with china dishes.  It’s special, complicated, messy and fun, and each child looks forward to “their night.”  Out of my five children, three of them chose this for dinner over the past five weeks.

We make Chicken Alfredo with homemade noodles – that’s a big part of the fun at our house – and we use the egg whites leftover from the Alfredo sauce to make the noodles.  If you prefer, save your egg whites for a lemon meringue pie, and use store-bought noodles instead.  Just know that you’re missing a home-made delight!

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken

4 carrots, peeled and cut into short sticks

1 head broccoli, chopped (keep the stem pieces separate from the flowerettes)

For the sauce:

2 cups cream

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

3 oz Parmesan cheese, finely grated

4 egg yolks

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Rinse the chicken and pat dry.  Rub with butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake in an uncovered casserole dish for about 2 hours.

While the chicken is baking, prepare the noodles and get some water boiling to cook them.

To make the sauce: Pour the cream into a medium saucepan, and warm gently over medium heat.  Add the butter, and cook until melted.  While stirring with a wire whisk, add the grated Parmesan cheese and allow to melt.

You need to be very careful when adding the egg yolks.  If the sauce gets too hot, the eggs will curdle, like scrambled eggs.  Start by stirring a little of the sauce into the egg yolks.  Then pour the yolks into the sauce and whisk, while continuing to cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens.  Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.  (If your eggs happen to curdle, you can still save the sauce.  Either strain it to remove the bits of egg or puree the sauce in a blender.)

Steam the carrots and broccoli:

To steam the vegetables, place the broccoli stem pieces and carrot sticks in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water.  Steam them for 5 minutes before adding the flowerettes; then steam for 5 more minutes.  This keeps the flowerettes from getting overcooked.

When everything is finished, serve noodles onto individual plates, top with steamed vegetables, slices of chicken and ladle sauce over the top.

Serves 4 – 6.

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