Saturday, February 27, 2010
Shopping in my pantry
The thing about living on my own (and in no way am I complaining) is shopping for groceries. It's quite difficult to buy stuff, especially fresh produce, for one. I think if I ask the very nice Chinese uncle who sells vegetables at the market to slice me a 1/8 portion of a very small cabbage he'd keel over ... or throw the entire cabbage at me. So I end up with more vegetables and herbs that I can handle. Often I've had to throw out stale, or worse, decaying vegetables from my crisper. (Don't wince, they're only in the early stages of decay).
Anyway, I decided that before I buy anything more, I'm gonna clean my refrigerator of my "old stock". That packet of feta that is calling to me from the fourth aisle of the supermarket will have to wait.
So I found a couple of sprigs of thyme, a lemon that was looking more like a prune (don't even ask) and some leek that still had life in them. There were also tempeh, mushrooms and half a red pepper but I have other plans for them a demain.
So it was the sage and the lemon I retrieved. Poor lemon really looked bad.
I decided to break open a packet of cornmeal I'd bought ambitiously a month ago. Cornbread ... that's a thought. Especially since I'm on this bread making frenzy. Ok, one loaf is hardly a frenzy but...
Looked at the recipe I'd bookmarked from ... wait for it ... Martha Stewart. Didn't quite like the amount of sugar she used... 3/4 cup? Oh my. I decided I'd go healthy and switch it to 1/2 cup of brown sugar instead.
The rest of the recipe for pretty simple. Whisk butter and sugar, add three eggs gradually and then some chopped thyme. Mix in the lemon rind and juice and then the flour, salt and baking powder.
Nice. Add in some toasted pine nuts.
Transfer to a loaf pan. DON"T bother licking the batter cos cornmeal batter ain't so hot. So, scrape all you can into the loaf pan.
Bake for 50 mins.
The cornbread (its more of a cake... Martha, you mislead me) is really yellow. Rich golden yellow. And the texture kinda reminded me of suji (semolina). It was nice especially since the crust on top was nice and brown and slightly crispy. Even with the reduced sugar, it was sweet.
But the lemon and thyme and pine nuts made what would have been a rather mediocre cake interesting. I ate a couple of small pieces and kept the rest in my fridge. They tasted better the next morning, chilled and firmed up. And served with thick yoghurt. Ummm.
So I used my thyme and lemon .. but now I have a whole loaf in my fridge. I think it would have been better on my waistline to let em lemons shrivel up and then use them as compost.
For the recipe, go tohttp://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/polenta-quick-bread-with-lemon-and-thyme