I had a couple of light bulbs go off over my head this weekend. Okay, they were about the size of an oven light bulb instead of a standard size, but I still think these tiny tips might be worth passing along.
Spoon bread for cheaters: I had some leftover cornbread recently. Specifically, I had six corn muffins I’d let sit around too long, and they’d become a little too dry to enjoy the standard way. Cornbread is one of those breads that lends itself well to creative leftovers. For example, you could turn it into a cornbread dressing, make cornbread croutons or just do what my grandfolks used to: Crumble it into a glass of cold buttermilk and go at it with a spoon.
But I thought I remembered my mother turning leftover cornbread into spoon bread, and I had such a craving for spoon bread that I tried to find such a recipe. I had no luck whatsoever! But seeing as how I had very little to lose, I decided to experiment. Here’s what I did:
1. Scald one cup of milk in a medium saucepan.
2. Stir in about two tablespoons of butter until melted.
3. Crumble the dry, leftover cornbread into the mixture and stir until all of the liquid is absorbed. Serve hot with another pat of butter, if desired, or a drizzle of honey or molasses.
It isn’t the Culinary Institute of America, folks, but it’s a tasty way to save some cornbread that’s gone past its prime. Extragood with some greens and pork chops or ribs. Of course, you can make real spoon bread from scratch fairly easily, too. It calls for eggs, which I left out.
* Chili for nachos: Next time you make a big pot of chili and feel certain you’ll get your fill before it has all been consumed, freeze a cup or two in small plastic containers. It’ll be the perfect amount for a plate of lazy Sunday afternoon nachos, and healthier than canned chili.
* Quick meal idea for this week: Last week, Howard ordered spaghetti with meatballs. Meatballs are so easy to make, so I said OK. I made a batch with a pound of ground beef and plopped them into the sauce. I’m one of those odd birds who doesn’t like spaghetti three times in a row, so we turned the last several meatballs into meatball subs, adding some mushrooms to the mix, stuffing them into sub rolls and melting mozzarella over the top. It’s a nice way to get two quick meals out of one easy effort.
Basic Italian Meatballs
1 lb. ground beef
2/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup minced onion
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Mix all ingredients together with clean hands until thoroughly combined.
3. Roll into 1 1/2-inch balls and place in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish, leaving about an inch of space between them.
4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle.
To print this recipe, click here.