Monday, February 13, 2017

Snowed-In Din-Din

We're experiencing the first Snowpocalypse of the year, and I wanted to make a good Sunday supper last night, but without having to leave the house in a blizzard. I had a pork roast that I had in the back fridge and needed to cook. So I sprinkled it liberally with seasoned salt, browned it on all sides in a skillet, then threw it in the Instant Pot with a bottle of beer, a sliced onion, some garlic cloves, a few glugs of Worcestershire sauce, a good squirt of sriracha, and a bay leaf. I cooked it on the meat setting for 75 minutes and let it release naturally.

Then I found a box of cornbread mix in the pantry, so I zhooshed that up with some caramelized onions and creamy goat cheese. After I took this picture, I added a sidecar of my homemade Hot Pink Jalapeno Garlic Kraut.
Hot Pink Jalapeno Garlic Kraut 
(Source: Adapted from Nourished Kitchen)

3 1/2 pounds red cabbage, shredded
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and minced
4 medium jalapeno peppers, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon pink Himalayan salt

Toss the cabbage, garlic, jalapenos and salt into a large mixing bowl. Knead the vegetables together by hand for five minutes until they begin to release their juices. Allow the shredded vegetables to rest a further five minutes, then return for five more minutes of kneading.

Layer the salted vegetables into a quart-sized fermentation jar or crock (find a crock online), and pack tightly until the brine created by the vegetable juice and salt completely submerges the shredded cabbage and peppers. Weigh down the vegetables with a glass weight sterilized stone or other heavy item small enough to fit within your crock, close and ferment at room temperature.

Taste after about three weeks and continue to ferment if the sauerkraut hasn't achieved the level of tartness you prefer. Transfer to cold storage when sour enough for your liking.

Cornbread with Caramelized Onions and Goat Cheese

1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons butter
3 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
1 15 oz. box cornbread mix (or 2 boxes of Jiffy)
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chevre (goat cheese), broken up into large crumbles

To a large skillet over medium-low heat, add two tablespoons of the olive oil and the onions, and cook, stirring frequently until dark golden brown, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool to warm (not hot).

In an 8x8 baking dish or deep dish pie plate, add the other two tablespoons of olive oil, swirl it around, and put the dish in the oven to preheat to 375 F. Meanwhile, whisk the cornbread mix with the buttermilk, eggs, Parmesan, and black pepper. Stir in about 2/3 of the caramelized onions.

When the oven comes to temperature, remove the heated baking dish and pour in the cornbread batter. Poke the goat cheese crumbles here and there down into the batter. Top with the remaining caramelized onions. Bake for about 35 minutes until a tester comes out clean in the middle.

The college where I teach was closed today because of the snow, and I had some more time for home cooking, I decided to make some zesty succotash to accompany my leftover pork and cornbread.

Corn and Lima Bean Succotash

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
1 cup chopped roasted red and yellow peppers
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 16 oz. bag frozen baby lima beans, thawed
1 16 oz. bag frozen sweet corn
1 teaspoon Creole seasoning
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
few shakes of hot sauce, to taste
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and saute the onion, peppers, garlic, and lima beans for a few minutes until the onion is tender. Add the corn, Creole seasoning, black pepper, hot sauce, vinegar, sugar, and chicken broth. Continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the broth has almost entirely evaporated. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh parsley.

The last thing I cobbled together on my snow day (again, I was not interested in leaving the house!) was a Chocolate Chip and Macadamia Nut Bundt Cake with Bittersweet Ganache Glaze from a box of yellow cake mix. For a "cheater" cake, it turned out pretty darn good, I think!
Chocolate Chip and Macadamia Bundt Cake with Bittersweet Ganache Glaze

1 (15.25-oz.) pkg. yellow cake mix (without pudding added)
1 cup plain yogurt
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 (3.4-oz.) pkg. vanilla instant pudding mix
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup macadamia nut pieces

Ganache Glaze:
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine cake mix, yogurt, eggs, vanilla bean paste, pudding mix, oil, and water in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium, and beat until light and fluffy, two to three minutes. Gently fold in semi-sweet chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.

Pour mixture into a lightly greased and floured Bundt cake pan. Bake in preheated oven until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Remove cake from oven, and cool in pan for about ten minutes. Transfer cake from pan to wire rack; cool completely, about one hour.

Microwave the bittersweet chips and the cream in a large bowl for one minute, then whisk until smooth. (Microwave an additional 30 seconds if needed.) Whisk in the butter until smooth. Pour the glaze completely over the cake. Let the ganache set before slicing and serving.

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