Domestic Goddess my arse!

These are the recipes I'm good at... quick, simple, out of the store-cupboard and onto the plate fare. I never spend more than 30 minutes faffing in the kitchen. So there.

This will be my recipe & homemadey remedy diary.

If you have those 'OMG! It's lunchtime and all I've got is a parsnip and a packet of boil in the bag rice.' moments, then you're a kindred spirit and you know that bad planning is often the mother of great food. So welcome to fast slurpy soups and 'really?' salads made from what's left in the fridge.

Never, ever believe there isn't something wonderful to make from the last 3 ingredients in your kitchen. Unless those ingredients really are fairy liquid, eggshells and dead flies.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Cornbread missiles & chilli marmalade drizzle

I once made a batch of these that went horribly wrong - so I knocked together a chilli, marmalade drizzle to disguise the bland tasting muffage and turned up to Nat and Birdo's party with a pile of sticky, rock hard uncakes.

We ate a few for form sake and lobbed the rest over the balcony onto Hunter Street (?) below. It wasn't big or clever but it was hell funny. You can use any good recipe for savoury cornbread muffins, I've included one of my favourites nicked and adapted from an old american recipe - I can't now remember where I picked it up, but it works pretty well and uses cups - I use a teacup. (That's a fib, I don't measure any of it and do it by eye - I've just dragged this old recipe out to help you along).
Here's what you need:

1 cup plain flour
1 cup cornmeal (fine or coarse it doesn't much matter, you can also use polenta at a push)
1/2 tspn salt
1/3 cup of honey
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of melted butter (use margerine if you must)

small onion chopped finely
hard cheese cut into cubes (haloumi works well)
and/or handful of olives, chopped small
toasted pine nuts, put a bag over their heads and bash them senseless
pesto (home-made or shop bought, I won't tell)...

The original recipe was for a slab of cornmeal bread made in a tin - but I put the batter into a fairy cake tray, or a muffin tin to make a dozen lovely little cheesy chaps. It doesn't make those blousey muffins you get at Starbucks - these are far more demure, so you'll probably only want to invite one special friend around for lunch.

Putting it all together:

Pop your muffin tray into the oven and heat it to Gas mark 6 (200C/400F). God knows what you do if you have an efficient fan oven - I've never had the luck.

I put chopped onion in my muffins, so I melt the butter in a pan and add the chopped onion and let it cook gently without getting too much colour. If you are chillying up your muffins now's a good time to add some fire.

In the meantime mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and in another bowl beat the eggs and add the honey and milk. (I think this recipe called for buttermilk originally but I never have that - try it for yourself if you like or sour some milk with a teaspoon of lemon juice, set it aside for five minutes and then use it).

When your oniony/chilli mix is done, tip it all into the wet ingredients, scraping all the butter out of the pan. Now combine the two bowls and mix into a batter. I like mine fairly stiff.

You can use this batter without any further nonsense.

If you are adding a bit of posh then mix in your chopped olives, pinenuts etc. now.

Dollop your mixture into the muffin tin, and if you are putting cheese in the middle - then push a chunk into the centre of each splodge. If you fancy going for a pesto centre then dollop in 3/4 of the mixture needed for each muffin and then put a tspn of pesto in the middle and dollop the rest of the mixture ontop - you won't get a perfectly gooey pesto centre but you will get it concentrated in the middle, which I like.

Pop them into the oven and give them about 15 minutes. Check they're cooked through - and let them cool a little before turning them out onto a cooling wire.

hahahahahah! As if... chilli marmalade to follow xx

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