|Funny story: this picture was taken December 31st, 2010! The rest were taken November 2011.|
Spiced Sweet Cornbread (make the day before)
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup white flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup oil*
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp ground cumin (adjust to taste)
- 2 Tbsp ground chili powder
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 Tbsp butter (optional)
In a medium sized mixing bowl stir together all ingredients except the butter until thoroughly mixed. When the cast iron is heated, add the butter and swirl around to coat the whole pan. Pour the batter in the pan and cook for 20-25 minutes. The cornbread should be dry but not burnt (if you don't use a cast iron skillet, increase the time by about 5 minutes; if you are making this recipe for anything other than crumbs, cut the time by about 5 minutes).
Once the bread has cooled a bit, place it in a bowl or cookie sheet, and crumble. I find a dough blender works really well for this. You could probably also use a food processor; I don't happen to have one. Leave out overnight to dry.
*To add a kick, used a spiced chili oil. I made mine using a handful of red Thai chilies with the stems cut off (keeping the seeds), simmered over low heat in about a quart of canola oil until bubbles began to form on the surface of the peppers. I removed from the heat, let cool to room temperature, then blended in a blender. Mine kept for over a year in a squeeze-top bottle in the fridge.
Grilled Vegetables (can be made the day before)
- 2-3 mild peppers (red and green bell pepper, poblano, pasilla, etc.)
- 1-2 spicy peppers (jalapeño; habanero if you are especially bold)
- 1 medium onion
- 1 tsp salt
Grill the (whole) peppers and (quartered) onions over high heat until the outsides are nice and charred.
Remove from heat. After the peppers are cooled, remove all peels, seeds, stems, etc. (You don't have to be perfect about removing all the charred bits — it adds flavor.). Mince all the vegetables and mix with the salt. Cover and store until needed.
The Day Of
- ~16 pieces of thick cut bacon. The kind of bacon I like is 24oz for 16 pieces.
- 2-3 eggs
Stir together the cooled, grilled veggies with the cornbread crumbs, then add eggs, one at a time until the mixture is moist, but not wet. The mix should be able to hold together when lightly pressed. Cut the bacon in half.
|Naked stuffing balls awaiting a tasty meat blanket|
Using wetted hands, grab a small handful of the mix and very lightly press together to make golf ball-sized balls. Wrap each ball with a half slice of bacon, and set on a nonstick cookie sheet, seam side down. (You can also use toothpicks for a handy appetizer, but I find they stick together rather well without.)
Before and after. It's magic!
Bake the balls for 45-60 minutes, checking and rotating every 10-15 minutes. When the bacon is firm but not crispy, and the cornbread is golden brown, they are done. Drain on paper towels, then enjoy! They are good hot or room temperature.