Cornbread Strata and Meet Bindi!

My apologies again for disappearing. I know I said I was back after my last hiatus, but then something very exciting happened….we got a puppy! Meet Bindi our lab mix little cutie.

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I absolutely love this little pup, so much so that I find it difficult to spend time cooking or writing instead of playing with her! I think we’ve now gotten into a more routine schedule and I hope to posting much more often. If any of you have suggestions for how you balance blogging with family, work, pets and other priorities I’d love to hear them!!

And now for the food. The mornings have started to get a bit cooler, which makes me want to just curl up with something warm and cozy for breakfast. I had 3/4 of a loaf of cornbread and some sauteed onions left over from earlier in the week and decided to try a strata to use it up. You can really make this with any type of bread, but cornbread gives it a nice fall feel. I like to add a little
King Arthur Vermont Cheese Powder to my cornbread. I know, I know cheese powder? But this is a great ingredient that can add extra flavor to mannny dishes. Bread that is a day or two old generally works best for this as well.

Cornbread Strata
Cornbread (note: this is half the amount that I make if I’m making the bread to eat, the strata doesn’t require as much unless you’re feeding a crowd)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon King Arthur Vermont Cheese Powder (optional)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Sauteed Onion:
1 large onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt
pepper

Strata:
1 pan cornbread (see above)
4 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Make the cornbread: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, cheese powder, thyme and parsley in a large mixing bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until the edges start to brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Saute the onions: Add the olive oil to a pan on medium-low heat. Slice the onion thinly and add to the pan. Cook the onions slowly for about 10 minutes until they’re soft and start to brown just a little. Salt and pepper to taste. Let the onions cool.

Make the strata: Cut the cornbread into small chunks and place about 1/2 in the bottom of a baking dish. Combine the rest of the strata ingredients and the cooled onions in a bowl and whisk lightly. Pour half of the mixture over the bread. Place the rest of the bread in the dish and pour the remaining mixture evenly over the bread the cover it. Add some more grated cheese on top if you like. Bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes until the eggs are cooked. Enjoy!

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Cornbread, Apple and Turkey Sausage Stuffing

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It’s finally the week of Thanksgiving! Only 3 work days between us and the delicious food and precious family time that Thanksgiving brings. Last year was my first attempt at making the entire meal myself. Since my husband and I couldn’t get enough time off of work to go home, I bravely bought a Turkey, read a ton of recipes and how-tos and decided I’d figure it out on my own. The meal had a few failures (the fear of undercooking my bird led me to overcook it) but overall turned out pretty well. This year, we’re lucky enough to go home and enjoy the day with the rest of our family but I still wanted to make a big batch of stuffing for us to enjoy as we please.

Stuffing is by far my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal. I love digging into a big dish of crisp, bubbling stuffing. I decided to try something new this year and use cornbread. I also added apples and turkey sausage. The sweetness that the apples get when they bake perfectly balances the slight heat of the sausage.

If any of you are cooking your first Thanksgiving this year, this dish is sure to be a hit. As for the Turkey, I suggest getting a thermometer, I sure wish I had!

Cornbread Apple and Turkey Sausage Stuffing
1 pan of cornbread , if you need a recipe I like this one from the Neely’s – just make it in a cake pan instead of cupcake tinsĀ photo(17)
1 lb Italian turkey sausage
2 medium onions, chopped
5-6 celery stalks, chopped
2-3 apples, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 – 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 T sage
1 T parsley
1 T oregano
salt
pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Break your cornbread into chunks and place them on a large baking sheet. Since cornbread is naturally kind of crumbly it can be hard to get good sized chunks, if you end up with some crumbs that’s fine. Toast the bread in the oven until it starts to brown, about 10 minutes.

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2. Add the butter and olive oil to a large pot on medium – low heat. Add the onions, celery and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Crumble the turkey sausage as you add it to the pot and turn it up to medium heat. Add the rest of the spices. Stir occasionally and cook for about 8-10 minutes.

4. Add the apples to the pot and continue to cook until your sausage is cooked through.

5. Once the sausage has cooked, turn off the heat and add your cornbread. Add 1 cup of stock and stir to combine. Continue adding stock as needed until the mixture is moist, but not soggy.

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6. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish, cover with foil and bake at 350. Remove the foil after 30 minutes and continue to cook for another 25-30 minutes, just until the top starts to get crisp, enjoy!

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