Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Lunch At the Hawthornes.

 Welcome to the Hawthornes' Sunday meal.

 We're having a southern favorite - a fried concoction - along with cornbread made in a cast iron skillet and coleslaw.
 And it's ohsogood!

One of my favorite things to eat, EVER, is oysters.
In particular - FRIED oysters.

Mr. Hawthorne is in charge of the oysters today.
I'll be making the cornbread, the coleslaw, and the sauces for the oysters - a regular cocktail sauce with ketchup and horseradish and a remoulade sauce.

 A remoulade sauce is a French sauce, popularized in New Orleans, and there are numerous "recipes" for remoulade.  Typically, it's served with fried shrimp and po' boy sandwiches.

I started with the coleslaw.

Rosie's Coleslaw
about 4 cups shredded cabbage
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
lots of ground pepper
pinch kosher salt
Mix together all dressing ingredients.  Pour over cabbage and carrot mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate.  Let the flavors develop for at least an hour.  Taste test and adjust seasonings if needed.

Next, I started on my cornbread.  I'm always looking for new cornbread recipes because I just haven't found "the" recipe.  By "the" recipe, I mean cornbread like Mama Hawthorne used to make.  I used to ask her for the recipe, and she would tell me, but at the time (40 years ago), I didn't know what "until it looks right" meant.  Wish I'd paid more attention.  I do remember watching her make her cornbread.  She would melt a "plop" of Crisco in an 8 x 8-inch glass Pyrex baking dish in the oven.  She'd mix cornmeal, baking powder, and salt out of the blue canister with the picture of the little girl with the umbrella on it.  Then she'd stir in some milk.  When the Crisco was melted, she'd pour that into the cornbread mixture.  And the consistency would change drastically.  That part always intrigued me.  It went from batter-like and pourable to chunky-monkey and gloppy.  Then, she'd mix an egg into the whole thing and pour it into the hot Pyrex dish and bake it until perfectly golden and perfect.

So simple.  So very simple.

Yet, to this day, I cannot duplicate Mama Hawthorne's cornbread.

So, I go off on tangents and experiment.
One recipe I came across called for toasting the cornmeal first.  Sounded like a good idea and turned out it was.  Gave the cornbread more intense corn flavor.

I think I'll try this cornbread next summer during corn season and use some fresh kernels in the batter.  Maybe roast 'em first.   Sounds like a plan.

Anyhoos, this is good cornbread.
Try it and let me know how you like it.

Rosie's Not-My-Mama's Cornbread

1 10-inch cast iron skillet

2 1/4 cups cornmeal
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup Crisco
4 TB unsalted butter
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt

Place skillet in oven and heat to 450°.

Spread cornmeal evenly onto a baking sheet and toast about 10 minutes until fragrant and starting to color.  Pour cornmeal into a bowl and stir buttermilk into the hot cornmeal.  Set aside and let the meal soak up the milk and get happy.

Add the Crisco to the hot skillet, return to oven, and let melt for about 5 minutes.  Remove skillet from oven and add in butter, stirring to melt.  Pour Crisco/butter into the cornmeal mixture, leaving a bit in the pan to coat and grease the pan to get that nice brown crust.  Next, stir in eggs, baking soda and powder, and salt into the mix.

Pour into hot skillet and bake about 14 minutes or until golden brown, rotating pan halfway through baking time.  Cool cornbread in pan for 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack.  And yes.  The cornbread round turns right out.  Perfectly.

This cornbread falls right out of the pan.

Very nice crumb and crust.
Good corn flavor.
I've got my coleslaw done.
I've got my cornbread done.

Now it's time to make my sauces - a regular ketchup/horseradish cocktail sauce and my latest version of remoulade sauce.
Rosie's Cocktail Sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
2 TB+ horseradish
2 tsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp lemon juice

For extra oomph, I like to press the liquid out of my horseradish.  More heat to the mix.
Combine all ingredients casually.  You don't need a homogeneous mixture.  I prefer pockets of flavor.  You dip into one section and get a few flavors here, then dip into another section and get more flavors there.  Add more horseradish if you like sinus-cleaning.  I do.

Rosie's Remoulade
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 TB Dijon mustard
1 TB horseradish (liquid pressed out)
1 small garlic clove, minced  -  about 1/4 tsp
1 TB finely chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp sweet pickle salad cubes
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
big pinch cayenne pepper
Freshly cracked black pepper
Mix all together.

Sprinkle extra cayenne and pepper over top.

If you like, use a coarse grain mustard instead of the Dijon.
I would have, except I was out.
If you have some Creole seasoning, add in 1/2 tsp of that.
If you like capers, finely mince a teaspoon and stir it in.


Now, we all came here for the OYSTERS, so here they are!

Coating for oysters

1/3 cup rice flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup flour
1 TB Old Bay seasoning
1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp paprika
Mix all together.

Toss oysters, a few at a time, in the coating mixture.  Place coated oysters in a sieve and shake off excess coating.  Fry in 350°-370° peanut oil until golden, about 1 minute.  Drain on wire rack.
Toss oysters in the coating mixture first.
Then place in sieve and shake to remove excess coating.

Turn out onto rack.


I'm going back for seconds. 
And thirds...

No comments: