Currently cooking out of The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman
I have to be honest; I’m finding this cookbook to be pretty uninspiring. I’m a little ashamed to admit that, given how determined I was to make some fundamental changes to my diet. It’s beginning to be a struggle to find a recipe that I want to try. I’ve made several recipes that, for various reasons, haven’t made it to the blog, so I thought I’d do a quick wrap-up.
Braised Cabbage and Sauerkraut with Sausages—I don’t like sauerkraut. Bryan does, and in the headnotes to this recipe, Bittman says that even people who don’t like sauerkraut will like this dish. What the heck, I decided to give it a try.
I still don’t like sauerkraut, and I didn’t like this dish very much. Smoked sausage, fresh cabbage, sauerkraut and onions are quickly braised in either stock or, if you are feeling adventurous, beer. The fresh cabbage mellows the sauerkraut, somewhat, and both go well with the sausage. I think my biggest mistake was to use a turkey kielbasa. If I made this dish again, I’d go for a real smoked sausage to give the braise some depth. I also added mustard seeds because I found the dish bland. We ended up picking out the sausage and throwing the rest away.
Loaded Cornpone—I’m still confused about this dish. I was expecting cornbread in a pancake form. What I got were heavy disks of wet cornmeal. Looking back over the recipe, I don’t know why I thought this was more like cornbread since there is no flour and no leavening in the recipe.
You start by softening cornmeal in boiling water. After sitting for about 10 minutes, you loosen the cornmeal with a bit of buttermilk, some olive oil and corn kernels (I used thawed, frozen corn). Then you pour the batter, pancake-style, onto a hot griddle or skillet, cooking each side for about 5 minutes.
These were so bland that I resorted to dipping the one I ate in maple syrup. The outside of the cornpone (I’m not sure it that is the right work to describe these, but I hesitate to call them pancakes since the only thing they had in common with pancakes was their shape), was kind of hard, a little crunchy, and the inside was pretty much wet cornmeal. Very disappointing.