Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New comfort-food dish is a quick skillet supper

This recipe was just so fun. For long years we’ve loved chicken-dressing casserole as the ultimate in comfort food. Then I found this derivation: Chicken-and-Cornbread Dressing, featured in Southern Living’s One-Dish Dinner segment—the same group of recipes from which that marvelous Skillet Chicken Pot Pie (a few blogs ago) sprang.

Chicken-and-Cornbread Dressing was intended to be an all-in-one skillet (cast-iron or otherwise) supper. The self-rising white cornbread mix sped things along a bit. Morsels of chicken are stirred into the dressing mixture that has lots of chopped onion, celery, and sage.

Served with a little sliced avocado on the side, this legendary Southern side dish moved up into main-course billing.

Chicken-and-Cornbread Dressing

1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons fresh sage
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 cups self-rising white cornmeal mix
2 cups buttermilk (see low-fat substitution below)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar (or sugar substitute)
2 cups chopped cooked chicken

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Saute first 4 ingredients in hot oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from skillet; wipe skillet clean. Stir together cornmeal mix, buttermilk, and next 4 ingredients just until moistened. (For low-fat substitution, pour 6 teaspoons vinegar into a 2-cup measuring cup; then pour in skim milk up to the 2-cup line. Stir; allow mixture to sit for 5 minutes.) Stir in onion mixture and chicken just until blended. Pour batter into hot 12-inch skillet. (This also can be baked in a standard casserole dish that has been sprayed.) Bake at 425 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 8 to 10 servings. (Source: Southern Living January 2012)

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