Sunday, March 27, 2011

Black Bean Soup and Souffle Corn Bread

Did you notice that I didn't even have the energy to plate my dishes before taking photos?  Did you notice how awful my photos are?  That's because by this time of the night I was exhausted.  I had spent nearly six hours in the kitchen with nothing to show for it.  I wanted to run away and hide and never see my kitchen again.  Yesterday was one of those days that I should have taken an early cue and walked slowly away from the kitchen and not even consider returning until morning.

It all started with cookies that I found in a cookbook about local authors (Western Washington) and their favorite recipes.  TuTu's are apparently is an italian tradition, one which I'm sure I massacred.  Coffee, chocolate, and walnuts are excellent cookie ingredients so I went for it.  They were awful and I threw all 86 cookies in the trash. Okay, 84, Domo and I had to taste test a couple.

Next I decided to make a bread recipe that my friend had emailed me.  It is her grandma's recipe.  I added all the ingredients into my bread maker and started it up.  My bread machine sounded sick.  Er,, er.   My pile of flour and yeast was still a pile of flour and yeast and nothing that resembled dough and when I opened up the lid there was a piece of metal floating on top of my flour.  One would think that this would have waved mental red flags everywhere but clearly I wasn't in a proper state of mind.  Instead I dump the mixture, conclude that the random piece of metal was not an important component, and start over again.  Why the hell isn't my bread machine working I ask myself.  I announce to my husband that it is broken and say "hey maybe this litle piece of metal is important???".  God bless my husband and his patience with my total mechanical ignorance.  Mission aborted.  I guess that piece of metal was a critical piece of a bushing or something. I have no idea what a bushing is nor if there really is one in a bread machine but that's what my husband said.

So!  I email my friend and she said I should try it in my kitchen aid which I did.  I've never done this before but it went well enough until I failed to cook my bread the stated amount of time.  The recipe read to bake for 15 minutes, cover with foil, and bake another 15, but I didn't read the whole sentence.  Except I didn't know that until the bread had cooled and I cut into it.  The gaping hole in the middle of the loaf should have been a clue.  I made two loaves so I cut into the second (same story different loaf) and then threw both away. So sorry Jess  I'll try again when I get a new bread machine.  Screw the Kitchen Aid, that was entirely too much work.

Let's recap.  That would be 6 dozen cookies and three batches of bread ingredients now in the trash.  OMG I could scream.

At least dinner didn't completely suck.  Southwestern Black Bean Soup is a decent way to top of a super crappy kitchen adventure.  I did not use the crockpot, I just placed the ingredients on the stove top and heated through which worked out just fine. This was not spectacular but it was good and everybody ate it.

Southwestern Black Bean Soup
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
2 (15 ounce) can black beans, undrained
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Combine taco seasoning, corn, black beans, tomato paste, and water in a crockpot over low heat.  Cook for 8-10 hours.  Top with sour cream and cheddar cheese.

Servings: 6
Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 hours

I have come to realize that I am not a southern cornbread kind of girl.  I have found a recipe that I do love but I wanted to try something different.  Sometimes you should just stick with what you know but sometimes you don't know that until you try something new. I now know.  This is a good traditional cornbread and my husband really liked it but it just isn't my thing.

Souffle Cornbread
14 3/4 oz can cream style corn
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs shortening

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Process corn in a blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.

Beat butter and egg yolks in a large mixing bowl at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add pureed corn and whipping cream, stirring well.  Mixture may be lumpy.

Combine cornmeal and next 4 ingredients; add to corn mixture, stirring until blended.

Heat shortening in a 10 inch cast skillet in preheated oven for 6 minutes.

Meanwhile beat egg whites at high speed until stiff peaks form; gently fold into cornmeal batter.

Remove skillet from oven.  Pour batter into hot skillet.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

Servings: 8
Cooking Times
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Oven Temperature: 375°F

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