Saturday, January 07, 2006

My First (and hopefully not last) Paper Chef Competition

Paper Chef #14 Ingredients

Unlike cookiecrumb, I’m a joiner when it comes to food. So when I heard about the Paper Chef competition going on over at a few other blogs, I had to see what that was all about. I love experimenting, and my husband’s favorite line (when it comes to cooking) is “I’ll try anything once.” Paper Chef #14 ingredients are quinoa, cashews, yogurt (and I’ll spell it without the ‘h’, thank-you--such a stickler I am!), and anything ‘baby. I’ve never eaten quinoa, but have seen it at the store where I buy my grains and flours. I’d been planning to make cornbread to go with Mom’s chicken recipe tonight, so I just did a few adjustments and came up with this:

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cornbread

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cornbread

2 T butter, melted
1 egg
1 4-oz. jar baby food sweet potatoes
1 8-oz. carton plain nonfat yogurt
1 c medium-grind cornmeal
1 c quinoa meal *
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 T Splenda brown sugar blend or 4 T brown sugar
1/2 c coarsely chopped cashews

*I ground it in my coffee grinder, which we no longer use since we quit buying whole bean coffee because DH will settle for Folger’s and I hardly drink coffee at home and stop at Starbuck’s on my way to work...I’m such a Starbuck’s snob.

Preheat oven to 350˚. In one medium bowl, blend together the butter, egg, sweet potatoes, and yogurt. In another bowl, mix together the cornmeal, quinoa meal, baking powder, salt, and Splenda brown sugar. Add to wet ingredients and stir just until moistened. Gently stir in cashews. Spread batter in a greased 9x9” baking dish. Bake 50 minutes or until bread tests done with a toothpick. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to finish cooling.

We had this bread with dinner, which was my mother’s Oven Barbecued Chicken, rice, and turnip greens. A sort of Texas/southern meal. Those of you who live where you can get turnip greens in the grocery store--I’m jealous. We don’t have them here in southern California. I don’t even know if they have them in northern California. (cookiecrumb? and don’t tell me about fresh turnip greens, for some reason I like the canned ones better!) I have to have them shipped to me, and boy, does that get expensive. I went to visit my brother in North Carolina last June, and bought a case to ship home. The turnip greens cost under $12, the shipping, I think, was about $26. But I grew up eating them, and I really love ‘em. I got a mixed case--half plain turnip greens, and half turnip greens with chopped-up turnips in them. Seldom do I share them with DH, since he’s ambivalent about them. But tonight, he agreed that they go with oven-barbecued chicken and cornbread.

The cornbread was “different.” We didn’t know what to expect, and were a bit surprised at the crunchiness. But it grows on you. Around the third bite you’re used to the different texture and taste. “Not bad,” DH stated. “Can I have some more?” I proudly proclaim it a success.

Back to the chicken. This will be the first of many wonderful recipes given to me by my mother that I grew up eating regularly. The first time I made it for DH, he fell in love with it and requests it often. He especially likes the sauce, which he pours over rice. When I make this, I have to make extra rice, because he eats so much. This morning, when I pulled the breasts out of the freezer and told him what I was making, his response was, “My mouth is already watering. Can’t wait.” I made one change to this recipe from my mother’s, and that was to use Splenda Brown Sugar Blend. Anything I can do to cut sugar, I’ll try.

Oven-Barbecued Chicken

Alice Alene’s Oven-Barbecued Chicken

2 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
1 c water
1 onion, chopped
2 T soy sauce
3 T mustard
1/4 c Splenda Brown Sugar Blend or 1/2 c brown sugar
1 t garlic powder
3-4 chicken breasts or 1 chicken, cut up

Place all ingredients (except chicken) in small saucepan. Mix well and simmer about 10 minutes. Put chicken in shallow baking dish and pour sauce over. Bake, uncovered, at 350˚ 50 minutes to an hour. Serve with rice.


Randi said...

You can get big bags of southern greens at Trader Joe's. They are a mixture of turnip, chard, etc. I used to buy them when I lived in cali.

Cyndi said...

I guess I could break down and try fresh greens. I suppose they WILL be better than canned, but I've been loving the canned turnip greens all my life. I'll give 'em a try.

cookiecrumb said...

Brava! Very inventive on the cornbread. I might even try that myself. To think that you actually ground your own meal.
As for turnip greens: Alas, I must tell you we get them fresh, at least at the farmers' market. Still attached to the turnips, no less. And yet, I can totally dig your attachment to a familiar food. Why give that up?
(Just wait till we get our hands on you for the Eat Local Challenge in May!)

Cyndi said...

I've already thought about that; have started scoping out sources. It's going to be much harder here in San Bernardino County--we're not known for quality food, especially food to subsist on. Let's see--eggs from Chino, produce at the Redlands Farmer's market, ack--I've alreay run out of ideas. I'll work on it. How long do we have to do it--a week? Coffee? How can I live without it?

mrs d said...

Hah! I never dreamed of using baby food in a bread recipe. Brilliant!

LB said...

Cyndi--What a wonderful creation the bread is, and it sounds really good!

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