Breakfast Cornbread Casserole with Ham and Kale

Breakfast Cornbread Casserole with Ham and Kale

The combination of ham and kale is traditional for a reason: it’s so unbelievably good. But this satisfying casserole is easy to adapt to other greens and meat pairings, depending on what you have on hand: Try cooked sausage with frozen spinach or Andouille with frozen mustard greens.

Level: Easy

Total: 1 hr 25 min

Prep: 10 min

Inactive: 15 min

Cook: 1 hr

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

 
Creamed corn:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Two 16-ounce bags frozen corn, thawed

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1/2 pound thick-sliced deli ham, diced

5 ounces frozen kale (about 1 3/4 cups)

 

Cornbread topping:

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon sugar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 cup shredded sharp yellow Cheddar

Hot sauce, for serving

Directions

 

Special equipment:  a 2-quart oval baking dish

 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 2-quart oval baking dish.

2. For the creamed corn: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the corn and cream, and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces in volume and bubbles rapidly, about 15 minutes. Transfer 2 cups of the corn mixture to a food processor, puree until smooth, then stir it back into the skillet. Fold in the ham and kale. Transfer the creamed corn to the prepared baking dish; set aside. Clean the food processor bowl.

3. For the cornbread topping: Pulse the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a food processor to combine. Add the butter, and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the cream and 1/2 cup of the Cheddar, and pulse until the batter just comes together.

4. To assemble: Sprinkle the cornmeal batter over the creamed corn. (Don’t worry if the corn isn’t completely covered; the batter will puff and spread as it bakes.) Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar. Place the casserole on a baking sheet, and bake until the corn is bubbling and the crust is puffed and golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Serve with hot sauce.


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Christmas Steak

Christmas Steak

This restaurant-style steak is served carved and dressed in two fresh holiday-hued sauces — salsa roja and chimichurri — inspired by the two-tone grilled snapper served at the restaurant Contramar in Mexico City. Don’t be afraid of generously salting the meat; it helps create a real steakhouse crust.

Level: Easy

Total: 1 hr 5 min

(includes resting time)

Active: 30 min

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

Salsa Roja:

2 small plum tomatoes, cored

2 cloves garlic 

1 small jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and halved 

 

1/2 small white onion, halved 

1/4 teaspoon red wine vinegar 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Chimichurri:

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup ice cubes

2 tablespoons packed fresh oregano leaves

1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

 

Steak:

One 2-pound bone-in porterhouse steak (about 2 inches thick)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

1 tablespoon canola oil 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes 

3 cloves garlic 

2 sprigs fresh thyme 

Directions:

1. For the salsa roja: Add the tomatoes, garlic, jalapeno and onion to a medium saucepan. Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Simmer until the vegetables are softened, 15 to 20 minutes.

2. Drain the vegetables, add to a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

3. For the chimichurri: Add the vinegar, garlic and a generous pinch of salt to a blender and blend on low until smooth. Add the parsley, cilantro, ice, oregano and jalapeno and blend on medium speed. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and blend, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary, until smooth, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the chimichurri to a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

4. For the steak: Let the steak sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking. 

5. Position an oven rack 5 to 6 inches from the broiler and preheat the broiler.  

6. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the steak dry and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper; the steak should be almost completely white from the salt. Add the oil to the hot skillet and when it begins to smoke, add the steak. Cook the steak until browned and crusty on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a cutting board. 

7. Cut the strip steak from the bone and carve the meat across the grain. Cut the tenderloin filet from the bone and carve the meat across the grain. Place the bone back in the center of the skillet and arrange the sliced steak around the bone in its original formation so that it looks like a full steak. Top with the butter, garlic and thyme. 

8. Broil until the butter is melted and a thermometer inserted sideways in the center of the steak registers 120 degrees F for medium rare, 3 to 4 minutes (see Cook’s Note). Tilt the skillet slightly to pool the butter, then spoon it over the steak several times to coat. 

9. Transfer the steak to a serving platter and pour the melted butter over top. Top one half of the steak with the chimichurri and spread evenly. Top the other half with the salsa roja and spread evenly. Serve with the remaining chimichurri and salsa roja on the side.

 

Cook’s Note

The side of the porterhouse with the tenderloin filet will cook faster than the side with the strip steak. Remove the filet and continue to broil the strip if you want even medium-rare doneness.


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Black bottom pie

Black bottom pie

Serves 8

Easy

This recipe for Southern pie by Felicity Cloake owes its name to its rich, dark cocoa base and chocolate custard, topped with a rum mousse and a cloud of whipped cream. Pure indulgence, Dixie style.

Ingredients

  • Oreo biscuits 24, (just shy of 2 packets)
  • unsalted butter 55g, melted
  • whole milk 500ml
  • eggs 4, separated
  • golden caster sugar 225g
  • cornflour 4 tsp
  • fine salt 1/4 tsp

 

  • dark chocolate 75g, finely chopped, plus a little extra to top
  • leaf gelatine 6 sheets
  • golden or dark rum 1 tbsp
  • vanilla extract 1 tsp
  • ground nutmeg 1/8 tsp
  • double cream 250ml
  • icing sugar 2 tbsp

Method

  • STEP 1

    Whizz the Oreos to crumbs in a food processor, then add the melted butter and briefly whizz again. Press into a 23cm springform cake tin, cover and chill.

  • STEP 2

    Gently bring the milk to a boil in a heavy-based saucepan. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and half the caster sugar together in a large, heatproof bowl until paler in colour, then whisk in the cornflour and salt. Whisk as you pour the hot milk onto the yolks, then return to the pan and cook over a low heat, stirring, until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. Take off the heat and pour half into a bowl, while this is cooling soak the gelatine in cold water until pliable. Squeeze the water out of 2 of the leaves. Stir the chocolate and these gelatine leaves into the pan with the custard mixture until they have melted, then pour onto the base. Chill.

  • STEP 3

    Stir the rum, vanilla, nutmeg and remaining 4 gelatine leaves into the warm, reserved custard mixture and leave to cool completely.

  • STEP 4

    Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then add the remaining caster sugar and beat until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Fold this into the cooled custard, then spoon on top of the chocolate custard and chill until set – about 4 hours. Whip the cream and icing sugar to soft peaks, spoon on top of the pie, then shave a little chocolate over the top to serve.

     

 

Nutritional Information

Kcals643    Fat38.1g    Saturates22g     Carbs63g    Sugars52.2g    Fibre2.4g    Protein9.5g    Salt0.8g


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Halloween Strawberry Shortcake Skull Cake

Halloween Strawberry Shortcake Skull Cake

We topped elegant strawberry shortcake with a ghoulish white chocolate skull in this spectacular Halloween dessert. Pour over the hot strawberry sauce to reveal the surprise inside!

Level: Intermediate

Total: 2 hr 45 min (includes chilling and cooling times)

Active: 1 hr 10 min

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

Chocolate Skull:

4 ounces white chocolate melting wafers

1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil

4 ounces strawberries, sliced

Cake and Filling:

Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (see Cook’s Note)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg, at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream

8 ounces strawberries, sliced

2 teaspoons granulated sugar

2 cups sweetened whipped cream

Strawberry White Chocolate Sauce:

8 ounces strawberries, finely chopped

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 ounces red candy melting wafers

Directions

 

1. For the chocolate skull: Add the white chocolate melting wafers and coconut oil to a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each, until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes.

2. Pour the chocolate mixture into the front and back cavities of a 2-part medium plastic skull mold (3-by-4-by-4-inch) and tilt to swirl the chocolate around until coated entirely (you can also use your finger to swirl the chocolate around). Tap out any excess and freeze until the chocolate is set, about 5 minutes.  

3. Reheat the melted chocolate, if needed, and brush the sides of the mold cavities with a second layer. Freeze until set, about 5 minutes. 

4. Carefully unmold the skull halves and fill one with the sliced strawberries. Microwave the melted chocolate again until smooth, about 30 seconds. Use the melted chocolate as glue to carefully attach the skull halves. Refrigerate until ready to serve. 

5. For the cake and filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 6-inch round cake pan with 3-inch sides with nonstick spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment and spray the paper. 

6. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.  

7. Beat the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low just to incorporate, then beat on high until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vanilla and egg, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl, and continue to beat until creamy, about 2 minutes (the mixture will look curdled, but will come back together after everything is combined). With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. 

8. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. 

9. Bake until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool 10 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan, turn the cake out onto the rack, remove the parchment and cool completely.  

10. Meanwhile toss the sliced strawberries and granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the strawberries to release their juices. 

11. Cut the cake into 3 layers with a long serrated knife. Place a cake layer on a cake stand and top with half of the strawberries. Spread 3/4 cup of the whipped cream on top. Repeat with another cake layer, the remaining strawberries and 3/4 cup whipped cream. Top with the final cake layer and remaining 1/2 cup whipped cream. Position the skull in the center of the whipped cream.

12. For the strawberry white chocolate sauce: Add the strawberries and granulated sugar to a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries have broken down and thickened slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and vanilla. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and return the liquid to the saucepan (discard the solids). Add the cream and red candy melting wafers to the sauce and heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until melted and hot, 10 to 15 minutes. 

13. When ready to serve, pour the hot sauce over the center of the chocolate skull.

 

 

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.)


Halloween Strawberry Shortcake Skull Cake
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Roast grouse with blackcurrant & beetroot sauce

Roast grouse with blackcurrant & beetroot sauce

PREP: 40 MINS
COOK: 1 HR40 MINS
MORE EFFORT
SERVES 4

Available from August, this game bird is best served with a fresh, full-flavoured fruit sauce and a dash of whisky to boot

Ingredients

 

4 young grouse, legs removed and reserved

50g unsalted butter

4 thyme sprigs

1 large or 2 small shallots, finely chopped

4 slices pancetta

4 slices white country bread, buttered

buttered spinach, to serve (optional)

For the sauce

1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp sunflower oil
8 grouse
legs (see above)
1 shallot, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 thyme sprig
2 tbsp whisky
600ml chicken stock
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
50g blackcurrant, topped and tailed
50g cooked beetroot, coarsely grated
1 tbsp crème de cassis

Method

1. First make the stock for the sauce: place a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. When it is hot, melt the butter with the sunflower oil. Add the grouse legs and brown in the pan for 4-5 mins, turning regularly. Add the shallot, bay leaf, thyme and whisky, and reduce the heat. Allow any liquid to evaporate, then add the chicken stock. Press the legs down in the stock so that they are all covered. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer and cook gently for 1 hr.

 

2. Discard the legs. Strain the stock into a clean pan and reduce, over a medium heat, until you have about 300ml. Allow this to cool, then cover and chill if not using immediately. Can be done a day ahead up to this stage. You can finish the sauce once the grouse are cooked.

 

3. Clean the grouse: remove any remaining feathers, and rinse the birds inside and out with cold water. Pat them dry with kitchen paper. Divide the butter between the cavities of the birds, and add to each a thyme sprig and some chopped shallot. Season the birds inside and out, and wrap a slice of pancetta over the top of each bird. The birds are now ready to cook, but can be chilled for several hours if necessary – allow them to come to room temperature before you cook them (this will take 1 hr or so).

 

4. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Place the grouse in a roomy roasting tin and the buttered slices of bread on a baking tray – they will toast at the same time as the grouse cook. To cook the grouse to medium, put in the oven for 18-20 mins. Keep an eye on the toasts and remove them when they are golden brown. The grouse are cooked when the breasts feel firm to the touch. If you have a cooking thermometer, cook them so that the thickest part of the breast, just above the wing, registers 55C.

 

5. Remove the birds from the oven. Place each on a piece of the buttered toast to absorb any juices that drain from the birds. Cover loosely with a piece of foil and leave to rest for 10 mins while you finish the sauce.

 

6. Put the roasting tin on the heat and, when it is warm, add the grouse stock. Let it simmer, scraping the juices from the bottom so that they dissolve in the stock. Add the redcurrant jelly, blackcurrants, beetroot, and finally the cassis. Simmer the sauce for 3-4 mins, then remove from the heat and season to taste. Serve the grouse on heated plates with a little sauce drizzled around, and some buttered spinach, if you like.


Roast grouse with blackcurrant & beetroot sauce
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