Growing up, cornbread was a daily staple at my grandparent’s house. We had it often enough at our house too, only usually in muffin form. My grandparents made drier, unsweet cornbread (that my Papaw often experimented with and threw in whole kernels of corn or jalapenos) and my Mom always made hers sweet (and a little more cake-like) with Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix. After going gluten-free, I thought cornbread would be a quick and easy replacement for bread with meals. However, Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix is not gluten free. I’ve made many different GF cornbreads, all good, but none the same as that muffin mix. That is, until I came across this recipe by Smitten Kitchen. These are seriously the best, homemade cornbread muffins — gluten-free or not.
Homemade Cornbread Muffins (gluten-free)
makes 12 muffins, recipe from Smitten Kitchen, originally from Cook’s Illustrated
-2 cups yellow cornmeal (divided)
-1 cup flour (I use my gluten-free all purpose flour + 1 tsp or so of xanthan gum)
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
-1 1/4 cups whole milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
-1 cup sour cream
-8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
-3 to 5 Tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like your cornbread)
-2 large eggs
1. Heat oven to 425°F (220°C). Grease 12-cup standard muffin tin.
2. Mix 1 1/2 cups cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
3. In a medium saucepan, combine milk and remaining 1/2 cup cornmeal. Cook cornmeal/milk mixture over medium high heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until it’s thickened to a batter-like consistency.
4. Stir melted butter, sugar, and sour cream into cooked cornmeal. When mixture is cool enough to not cook the eggs, whisk in eggs and stir until combined.
5. Fold in flour mixture until thoroughly combined (batter will be thick).
6. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups (will mound slightly above the rim).
7. Bake until tops are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 13 to 17 minutes, rotating muffin tin halfway through baking to ensure even cooking.
8. Let muffins cool in muffin tin on wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove muffins and let cool 5 minutes longer. Serve warm with butter and/or honey.
This is my version of a Vietnamese rice bowl/beef salad that my Vietnamese sister-in-law makes. Lately I’ve been in love with this quick, simple, tasty, and filling meal. We’ve been making it at least once a week! (Thanks Trang for the inspiration!)
Beef & Rice Salad Bowls
makes about 4 servings
Ingredients (for the beef marinade):
-1 lb beef skirt steak, sliced in small pieces, against the grain
-4 Tbsp GF tamari soy sauce
-1 Tbsp rice vinegar
-1/2 tsp sugar
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
-pinch of salt
-sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper
-(optional) 1 Tbsp chopped fresh lemongrass (the soft part of about 3 sticks) — (I use this if I have it on hand, but leave it out if not)
-1 Tablespoon butter (for cooking)
Ingredients (for serving):
-cooked white rice
-raw, unsalted peanuts, chopped
1. Combine sliced meat and marinade ingredients (soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, lemongrass) in a glass or plastic bowl with a lid. Stir together. Place lid on container and return to fridge. You can leave beef to marinade for a few hours if you like, but I generally just let it sit while I prepare the rest of the meal.
2. Cook rice and prepare salad ingredients.
3. Heat skillet or wok. Over medium-high heat, melt one tablespoon butter. Once butter is melted, add beef (including marinade) and cook several minutes, stirring occasionally, until cooked through.
4. Serve beef over a bed of white rice with salad and chopped peanuts (this is my favorite, so that the rice soaks up the beef juices) or serve beef on top of salad with rice on the side.
In honor of National Buttermilk Biscuit Day (May 14), here is my recipe for gravy and gluten-free buttermilk biscuits.
Gluten-Free Buttermilk Biscuits
recipe from Fine Cooking’s Gluten-Free 2014 Magazine – makes 10-12 biscuits
-1 1/4 cups Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
-3/4 cup cornstarch
-1 Tablespoon sugar
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
-1 large egg
-1 cup buttermilk
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients (flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt) until well combined.
3. Cut butter pieces into flour mixture with a pastry cutter (or a fork or two knives), until the mixture resembles course crumbs.
4. In small bowl, beat egg and add buttermilk. Mix thoroughly.
5. Pour liquid mixture into flour mixture and stir with a fork until all dry ingredients are moistened and mixture comes together into a soft dough.
6. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart.
7. Bake until golden brown, 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees.
8. Immediately transfer biscuits to a wire cooling rack. Serve warm.
-1 log Jimmy Dean mild breakfast sausage
-2 Tbsp butter or bacon grease
-1/4 cup flour (I use my GF flour mix)
-2 cups milk (I’ve made with unsweetened almond milk and it works great too!)
-salt & pepper
1. In skillet, melt butter or bacon grease on medium-high heat.
2. Scramble and cook sausage.
3. Reduce heat to medium, add flour, and stir until slightly browned.
4. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly, until gravy is thickened.
5. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
6. Serve with warm biscuits.
These biscuits are great with gravy, butter, jam, or plain!
I love a good mac and cheese. The real cheese, rich, flavorful ones. Unfortunately, not many places make gluten-free mac and cheese, so if I get a craving for it I have to make it at home. No worries though, I’ve been using this recipe for a couple years and love it!
White Cheddar Mac and Cheese (Gluten-free)
adapted from this recipe, here.
-1 box (at least 12 oz) penne or other shaped pasta (I like this GF kind)
-6 Tbsp butter
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-4 Tbsp flour (I use my GF all purpose flour)
-1 cup chicken broth
-1 1/2 cups milk
-2 1/2 cups freshly shredded white cheddar cheese (or you can use a mixture of cheeses if you prefer – I usually use at least one 8 oz block of white cheddar, then add a bit of Gruyere, Parmesan, or whatever else I have in the fridge)
-salt, pepper, Italian seasoning to taste
1. Boil water and cook pasta according to package directions (I like my pasta al dente).
2. In large skillet, melt butter (over medium/high heat). Stir in garlic, mustard, and cayenne pepper and cook for about 1 minute.
3. Whisk in flour, stirring and cooking another minute or so until golden.
4. Whisk in broth and milk and stir constantly for 10 minutes or so, until sauce bubbles and thickens slightly (turning heat down to medium if needed).
5. Stir in cheeses until melted. Salt and pepper to taste. (I sometimes sprinkle in a little Italian seasoning as well). Stir in cooked pasta.
6. Either enjoy as is, or if you have extra time, place in glass baking dish, sprinkle with toasted GF breadcrumbs, and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for another 30 minutes or so until it is nice and bubbly!
P.S. This recipe works great to add in chicken and broccoli or other vegetables for a main dish. If you do decide to bake afterwards, I would suggest only cooking the pasta on the stove until it begins to soften, but is still slightly crunchy. Otherwise baking it might overcook the pasta and get too soft/mushy. As it is baking, the pasta absorbs more of the sauce and it is delicious! But, let’s be real, I’m usually in a hurry to get dinner done after work and don’t have time for that!
Happy Mardi Gras!