Another tasty accident
Ask anyone in my family and they'll tell you - I'm accident prone.
I trip over my own feet, run in to walls, fling my appendages into door jams, bed frames, open cabinets, you name it, I've run in to it. When I sew, I prick my fingers at the least three times, and yesterday almost sliced my finger in half with a utility blade.
It only bled for ten minutes.
In college, I actually took ice skating to improve my balance. It didn't help. I still fell. Just with less effort. Two of my children are what I would consider "accidents". Legitimate accidents, but not exactly planned for perfect timing!
In the kitchen, my accidents are of a different nature. And like my children, have always been welcome events. In the kitchen, I either mess up a recipe without trying, or find myself suddenly having to improvise midstream. Once I get started, I don't want to stop, so I just go with it.
I am one to get a taste for something without planning ahead. Like two of my children (sorry, I just tell it like it is!) felt frisky, found the hubby, 9 months later - so I get a taste for things, things like brownies only to discover I'm out of chocolate, so it's blondies instead. Or pancakes and no eggs (see my hub on cake batter pancakes for that mistake!). Tonight it was corn bread. It started with a taste for greens and gizzards.
Don't judge me. I'm southern, okay.
What better accompaniment than corn bread. No, not mashed potatoes.
Rice if you must. But not potatoes. For more on that, read my other hub To Mom with Rice and Love in Abundance.
And what was I out of this time? Milk. No biggie. It's just a liquid. I can work with this. But like most hankerings I get a, well...hankering for, I didn't feel like going to the store. I could have. I just didn't feel like it.
I could have used the almond milk. But I was feeling flouncy! Like fancy, bouncy and lacy or maybe that was flatulent and bouncy.
Either way, I wasn't going to make a run of the mill mistake. It was going to be a flouncy one!
Actually, flounce is a strip of decorative material that is usually gathered or pleated and attached by one edge as opposed to all the way around. Which would be a tutu.
I'm like flounce. Decorative and only attached on one edge because I tend to trip over the flounce which used to be a tutu but is now only attached on one side.
So the corn bread. I opted against almond milk and went for a bolder approach.
It's good in anything. Bubbly liquids can enhance many kinds of foods. Beer battered fish is delightful. My grandmother made Coca Cola cake. Jello made with champagne is jello shots for real grown ups. Orange juice and champagne makes boring brunch with the in-laws actually enjoyable. I put beer in my chili and make the best Irish Stout Pot Roast. So what's to stop me from making corn bread with beer.
So let's blaze ahead and get flouncy with it.
Preheat the oven to 400.
Line an 8 x 8 square cake pan with parchment paper and spray some oil on it. What, no paper! No papers? It's okay my bandito friend. Don't sweat it. You don't need no stinking papers. (you have to say this with a cheesy Mexican accent)
Just spray the pan with oil or grease it with some shortening. Best method is to put the shortening on a paper towel and rub it around the pan. Unless you like the shortening on your hands. It is a very cheap and highly effective moisturizer.
Please note that you can also do muffins if you want and I would recommend muffin cup liners.
Start by mixing dry ingredients together:
1 3/4 C all-purpose white flour
3/4 C yellow corn meal
You know, I always wondered about this. If it's corn bread, why more flour than corn meal? It's a fair question.
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (you can substitute white pepper or no pepper if you can't do the hot....fine, be a wimp!)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Take a whisk and, well whisk well. It takes the place of sifting which is one less dish to wash.
Add the wet ingredients:
1 C Beer any beer is fine, but I would recommend an amber beer. Stout or India Pale Ale is too bold for this recipe. Save the dark beer for cooking meat in!
1/4 C vegetable oil
2 eggs beaten
Mix all the ingredients together but don't overmix. Just make sure it's all wet. Pour the batter in to the cake pan, or spoon in to the muffin tins filling about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is slightly brown and has begun to crack and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in to the middle. Cool slightly before slicing.
Makes 4 gigantic servings.
Or 9-12 more reasonable servings depending on how you slice it and how much beer you've been consuming while it's been baking.
Just a note. These will not come out all fluffy and full of little air bubbles. They won't be all crumbly and messy. The texture will tend to be a bit dense as opposed to crumbly. I'm not a food chemist, so don't ask me why. Go find Alton Brown. He would know.
But, what I liked about how the beer changed the texture was the way they went with my greens. I served the greens over the corn bread in a bowl with lots of juice and some hot pepper vinegar on top. The corn bread soaked up the liquid without disintegrating, Something corn bread has a tendency to do when exposed to liquid. It also didn't fall down my shirt for me to later dig out of my bra as corn bread also tends to do when sliced and buttered. If you've ever made beer bread, you know the texture I'm referring to.
So all in all, a tasty "mistake" and I didn't even cut myself on the bottle opener or the butter knife.
And I have enough left over for the chili I put back in the freezer.
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