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December 2011 COTM: 150 Best American Recipes: Breads

LulusMom Dec 1, 2011 02:13 AM

Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the chapter about breads.

The Chowhound Team has asked me to remind you that verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed

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  1. Caitlin McGrath Dec 3, 2011 09:26 PM

    Corn Bread with Sage Leaves and Feta, p. 258

    The authors say in their introduction, "If we had to select the most gorgeous recipes in our collection, this corn bread would certainly top the list," and thankfully it doesn't take much effort to get there.

    It's baked in a heavily buttered glass pie plate, and the pattern of sage leaves is pressed into the butter before the batter, made with flour, stone-ground cornmeal, salt and leavening, eggs, olive oil, buttermilk, and crumbled feta is poured in. I followed the suggestions in the notes to add baking soda and to not use sage leaves on the sides of the pan, although contrary to what they say, I do not think the latter would have been "overkill." Otherwise, the one change I made was to use equal amounts of cornmeal and flour, instead of slightly more flour (cornbread shouldn't have more flour than cornmeal, in my opinion).

    This rose up beautifully, and has a nice, light texture with welcome punches of saltiness from the feta and earthiness from the sage. I will definitely keep this in mind to serve to guests because its looks and flavor are a high return on investment.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
      LulusMom Dec 4, 2011 02:13 AM

      That is really beautiful Caitlin. Nice to know it works out easily.

      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
        qianning Dec 4, 2011 06:18 AM


        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
          Gio Dec 4, 2011 07:34 AM

          Picture perfect, Caitlin...! I haven't read the bread etc chapter yet. Seem to be stuck in the mains and salads...better check that one out.

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
            blue room Dec 4, 2011 04:34 PM

            Oh, nice! The combination of cornbread and feta sounds perfect, but would never have occurred to me.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath
              kellyts Dec 11, 2011 08:40 PM

              I made this to go with some crockpot chili and it looked great and had a very light texture. It was less dense than other cornbreads I've had in the past and the addition of the feta was delicious. I used a high quality feta and was so glad I didn't skimp. Everyone enjoyed it and the sage lent a subtle flavor appropriate for the season. It looked nice enough that my husband is planning to make it for a holiday work get together.

              1. re: kellyts
                kellyts Dec 16, 2011 04:29 PM

                I made this again for my husband's work potluck. This time I actually forgot to mix in the feta ahead of time, so it got sprinkled over the top and sort of mushed down in. It didn't really make much of a difference. At least two of his coworkers asked for the recipe and he said it was well liked in general. Funny though -- a few people were put off by the sage leaves pondering aloud "what's that on top of it?" Guess they've never seen a sage leaf! Hah!

                1. re: kellyts
                  LulusMom Dec 16, 2011 04:37 PM

                  I served my mother stuffed pasta with sage butter once and you could just tell she was hating it. Some people really dislike sage. I'm not one of them.

            2. LulusMom Dec 4, 2011 04:07 PM

              Green onion buttermilk biscuits (p. 260)

              I halved the recipe on this, but still doubled (actually quadrupled) the green onions which was recommended in the authors notes. Lulu helped me and we had fun making them, but I'm not really much of a bread/biscuit maker, so was unsure about how they would turn out. We made them around lunchtime (authors say you can reheat) and when we tasted one then, it was pretty wonderful. Steaming from the oven, butter melting on each bite, the taste of the green onions, Yum. Did they hold up well for dinner though? Not so much. If you want them right away, I would heartily recommend them. if you want to hold them for later, no.

              3 Replies
              1. re: LulusMom
                Caitlin McGrath Dec 5, 2011 01:33 PM

                LulusMom, you might like the Cheddar Scallion Drop Biscuits on p. 597 of Gourmet Yesterday, which I made last month. They're very simple, and quite good when made with nice cheddar. They were completely delicious hot out of the oven, but I also thought they reheated well enough in the toaster oven.

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                  LulusMom Dec 5, 2011 01:40 PM

                  Thanks so much Caitlin. I would really love to have a go-to biscuit recipe (I'm probably the only person in the south who doesn't). I'm also hoping to try the lemon-thyme (hope I have that right) ones in this month's COTM.

                  1. re: LulusMom
                    Caitlin McGrath Dec 5, 2011 01:48 PM

                    I'm planning on making the lemon-thyme ones later this week, so watch this space for my report!

              2. Caitlin McGrath Dec 8, 2011 08:59 PM

                Lemon Thyme Biscuits, p.262

                Another simple-to-make winner from this chapter, these buttermilk biscuits have a good amount of lemon zest (I used zest from Meyers) and chopped fresh thyme, and come together easily in the food processor. The dough is patted out, cut in six wedges, baked. They were fragrant from the lemon and thyme, and very nice served hot from the oven with a soup from Gourmet Today.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                  LulusMom Dec 9, 2011 02:36 AM

                  Thanks for the report. You know, it had never occurred to me to use the food processor to make biscuits. Am going to try these.

                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                    herby Dec 13, 2011 09:56 AM

                    Caitlin, which soup did you serve the buscuits with? I am planning a small dinner for early January starting with ginger-carrot soup. Do you think that these biscuits will go with it or be too much flavour overload?

                    1. re: herby
                      Caitlin McGrath Dec 13, 2011 10:07 AM

                      Hi herby, I served the biscuits with the Chunky Butternut Squash, White Bean, and Tomato Soup from Gourmet Today (report is here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7055... ). I actually think these biscuits would complement carrot-ginger soup very nicely. They're fragrant and flavorful from the lemon and thyme, but the flavor is not so strong that it would clash or compete.

                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                        herby Dec 13, 2011 10:13 AM

                        Thank you, Caitlin! I was also drawn to the corn bread with sage because it is so visually appealing. Could be good with carrot-ginger soup too. Wonder if I could substitute kefir for buttermilk since lately I have been making kefir like crazy.

                        1. re: herby
                          Caitlin McGrath Dec 13, 2011 10:19 AM

                          The cornbread definitely has a wow factor that would impress guests, and it is so easy to throw together. Despite buttermilk being traditional for cornbread, I'm sure kefir would work fine; cultured dairy products are pretty interchangeable in baking.

                          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                            herby Dec 13, 2011 10:29 AM

                            Thank you, Caitlin! Now I want to make both:) Will decide once the whole menu is planned and will report then.

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