Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Series: Gluten Free Jalapeno Cornbread

So, it's that time of year again - Thanksgiving is going to be around the corner before we know it. This is going to be our first gluten-free Thanksgiving, so it's a pretty big deal. We've always had the usual, traditional trimmings in the past: turkey with stuffing and gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, cornbread, creamed white onions, applesauce, a selection of pies, and, at least personally, a longing to get back into my skinny Seven for All Mankind jeans for at least a week afterward.

Well, the good news is that a lot of this stuff is naturally gluten free - turkey, mashed potatoes, vegetables, sweet potatoes, gravy (we've always used cornstarch), and applesauce are all good. And since my hubby isn't a fan of the onions, or the pecan or pumpkin pies that leaves a short list of things to try to make gluten-free:
  • stuffing
  • cornbread
  • apple pie
Now my original plan was to go apple picking, and make a gluten free apple pie with fresh granny smith apples - unfortunately due to the lovely Upstate NY weather that was postponed for a week or two. So, I did the next best thing and tried my hand at cornbread. I picked up a package of Arrowhead Mills organic yellow cornmeal, and found a recipe on the back of the package for a jalapeno cornbread (it's since been removed from their recipe page).

Here's the recipe, for your reference:

  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped (I didn't measure but used 1 medium sweet onion)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup unbleached white flour (I used the same amount of white rice flour with 1 tsp xanthan gum)
  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (I used regular, iodized salt)
  • 1 cup soy milk or milk substitute (I used skim milk - I wonder if that made a difference?)
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil or butter (I used butter)
  • 2 eggs or 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute (I used 3 eggs)
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 1/4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated (I used extra sharp)
  • 2-4 jalapeno peppers, chopped (I used a handful of canned jalapeno slices, certainly not as many as the recipe called for)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Prepare an 8x8 pan with cooking spray
  3. Sautee the onions in the 1 Tbsp oil until just limp, about 5 minutes, and set aside
  4. Combine the dry ingredientsg
  5. Seperately beat together the milk, eggs, oil/butter, and honey. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened
  6. Stir in the onions, 1 cup cheese, and jalapenos
  7. Pour into prepared pan, top with the remaining cheese
  8. Bake 20-25 minutes or until top is crusty brown (it took about 20 minutes in my oven)

Now - the cornbread turned out tasty, but if I decided to make it again I think I'd make some changes:
  • The dough came out very thick and the top of the cornbread was lumpy and unattractive. I think the dough needed more liquid or a couple Tbsp less flour
  • I love spicy food and would prefer to use fresh jalapenos next time - however my hubby hates spicy food and probably wouldn't eat the cornbread!
  • There wasn't enough cheese. I would probably put the entire 1 1/4 cup in the mixture, and top the dough with another 1/2 cup or so

Anyway, that's all for now - let's hope the weather's better for apple picking this weekend so I can try my hand at a pie!

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