Jul 31, 2009

perfect cornbread for chili

chili is not exactly summer food, i know. but green chili could be. and cornbread certainly could be. the green chili post will come another day. for now, it's just the cornbread - which is quite a star in it's own right.

i started experimenting with putting different things in plain cornbread a few years ago. the first wonderful thing i hit on was a lemon blueberry cornbread (which reminds me, i should make that soon). but as far as a savory-type cornbread goes, i haven't had much luck until recently. and here it is - my roasted red pepper and poblano pepper and corn cornbread. that's sort of long. let's just call it cornbread to go with chili.

1 roasted red pepper, peeled and de-seeded
1/2 roasted poblano pepper, peeled and de-seeded
1 ear of grilled corn
1 cup AP flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp low-fat plain yogurt
just shy 1 cup milk (the yogurt and milk should add up to one cup)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs

pre-heat oven to 400
i start off by tossing the roasted red pepper and poblano pepper for a little whir in my food processor. kinda liquid-y, but it'll be okay. get the corn off the cob. set aside peppers and corn. combine flours, cornmeal, sugar, baking pwoder and salt in a large bowl. stir to combine. add yogurt, milk, oil and eggs. stir, by hand, until just combined. then add the peppers and corn. stir a few times.
grease or spray a 9x9 pan.
pour in mixture
bake for about 45 min or until the middle doesn't stick to a toothpick (or a chopstick from chinese take-out b/c we have no toothpicks here).
let it rest before cutting in and eating it! otherwise, you'll be like hubby and burn your tongue!

hubby's request for vineman

hubby's race at ironman coeur d'alene did not go as planned. it was cold and dreadful. it was the end of june and it was as low as 50 that day, and overcast and raining. and well, the run just wasn't as fast as he wanted it to be. but in my view, he was still plenty fast. it was exciting for me; it was the first time i got to sit in the stands because there was hardly anyone out there!
anway, for past few weeks after ironman, hubby's been focusing on vineman 70.3. that's a half ironman.

this will be our 5th time at vineman. it's hot up there. he loves it. i love spf 55 suntan lotion.

for the few days before we leave for a race, i try to cook every night and make hubby what he wants to eat. and before this race, he wanted pasta. homemade pasta. homemade pasta with roasted red pepper sauce.

i got this recipe from the pioneer woman. and i changed it a bit. partly because i didn’t have all the ingredients on hand and partly because i think both hubby and i might die from a heart attack if we used that much heavy cream. and since i was making this as a special dish for him before a very important race, it was probably good to keep away from the heavy cream. hubby loves homemade pasta. and he even bought a pasta attachment for the standmixer for me so i can make more homemade pasta.

so here it is, first recipe in a while . . . pasta with roasted red pepper sauce!

first off, there are only two of us, so a large portion we need not.
so just two roasted red peppers or two charred red peppers, whatever. i did this in the oven. you can do this on the grill. it’s really fine either way. toast some slivered almonds or pine nuts while you're at it.
i like it charred to this degree. it's just so much easier to peel.

after they're roasted, stick them into a plastic bag for a few minutes and let them steam away. it helps with the peeling process. while you're waiting, go ahead and start your pasta water.
i won't post a picture of what the peppers look like after they're peeled. they look slimy and naked and not at all appetizing. or maybe that's just because i didn't take a good picture. hmm.
after you've peeled and deseeded the peppers, toss them into the food processor with the toasted almonds. add 1/2 tbsp of butter. whir it up. add some salt and pepper. whir it again. should look something like this.

now, at this point, pioneer woman added the sauce to some sauteed onions and garlic. on this particular day, i forgot. but i think you should do it. it would taste good. then the pioneer woman added lots of heavy cream. you could do that too. i was scared of adding anything else to my thighs and laid off the heavy cream. still delicious to me.

don't forget to cook your pasta, the water should be boiling by now. i made it with large, wide, flat homemade wheat pasta noodles. per hubby's request. the sauce would probabaly hold better with another shape. but this is what hubby wanted and he was the one with the upcoming race.

so when your pasta's done and your sauce is done, just toss it together and it's time to eat!

pasta with roasted red pepper sauce:

2 red bell peppers
2 tbsp slivered almonds or pine nuts
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 medium onion
3 or 4 cloves garlic
olive oil
salt and pepper
a little parsley for topping the dish
pasta - any kind you like!

roast the red peppers until charred on the outside. toast nuts at same time. i do both in the oven, but on separate sheet pans! you could choose grill for the peppers and stove-top for the nuts.
fine dice the onion and garlic. saute in olive oil.
after the peppers are roasted, put them into a plastic bag and seal bag. this will make it easier to peel.
start pasta water.
peel peppers, deseed peppers and put into food processor with nuts and butter.
add salt and pepper.
whir again.
cook pasta. i made homemade pasta before starting on the sauce, so my pasta only took a few minutes to cook up.
add red pepper sauce to the pan with your sauteed onion and garlic. mix.
toss with cooked pasta.
top with parsley if you have it. we didn't. otherwise the green would have been nice on the top. i feel like such a delinquent when i'm missing basic stuff like parsley. ack. oh well. it's yummy anyway.

Jul 20, 2009

another degree?!?!

yup, that's right. one masters degree is just not enough. hubby's going for an MBA and if he goes back to school and gets one, that means he'll have two masters degrees and i'll only have one.
that's just not right.
i need an MBA, too.
okay, so that's not the real reason why i'm going for an MBA, but the competitive thing sure helps studying for GMAT!
and consequently, as all my free time is now spent on data sufficiency questions (and if you know what those are, i can hear your groaning). so not much time to blog. i've still been cooking and baking and taking pictures . . . but just not doing anything with them. but if i only study for the GMAT in my spare time, it'll drive me crazy, so i'm gonna try to start this up again.
maybe if i spend a little less time reading blogs, i can have more time blogging, lol.