As a big fan of English muffins, I tried a few sourdough versions before finally finding this successful one. It was worth it!
This recipe is from Emilie Raffa’s book, Artisan Dough Made Simple, via thelemonapron.com. I may need this book. 🙂 I cooked the muffins in a large cast iron skillet but may try to expedite the process by using a griddle next time. They were equally delicious with mustard egg and cheese as with butter and jam.
Yield: 12 to 14 muffins
- 245 grams (1 cup plus 1 tsp) milk, whole or 2%
- 120 grams (1/2 cup) water
- 56 grams (4 tbsp) unsalted butter, cubed
- 75 grams (heaped 1/2 cup) bubbly active starter
- 24 grams (2 tbsp) granulated sugar
- 500 grams (4 cups plus 2 tbsp) all purpose flour
- 9 grams (1 1/2 tsp) salt
- Cornmeal or semolina flour, for dusting
To Make the Dough:
- In a small saucepan, warm the milk, water and butter together over low heat, or in the microwave. Cool slightly before adding to the dough.
- Add the starter and sugar to a large bowl. Slowly pour in the warm milk mixture, while whisking to combine.
- Add the flour and salt. Mix with a fork to form a rough dough, then finish by hand to fully incorporate the flour. Cover with a damp towel and let rest 30 minutes. Meanwhile replenish your starter and store according to preference.
- After the dough has rested, work the mass into a semi-smooth ball, about 15-20 seconds. (I did this on a lightly floured piece of plastic wrap.)
- Place dough in a lightly greased bowl.
- Cover the bowl with the damp towel and let rise until double is size, about 8-10 hours at 70 degrees F. (21C) (I let the dough rise for about 5 hours in a proofing oven.)
- Once fully risen, cover the dough in lightly oiled plastic wrap and chill in fridge overnight.
- In the morning, remove the cold dough from the fridge onto a floured surface. Let it rest 10 minutes.
- Line two sheet pans with parchment paper and sprinkle a generous amount of cornmeal all over them. This will prevent the dough from sticking.
- With floured hands, pat the dough into a rectangle or oval, about 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick.
- Cut rounds about 3 inches in diameter (you can use the rim of a drinking glass: use a rim that isn’t too thick) You should get 10-12 rounds. (I used a Bonne Maman jam jar.)
- Place them onto the cornmeal on the baking sheets. Sprinkle tops with more cornmeal.
For the Second Rise:
Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest till puffy, about 1 hour depending on the temperature of your kitchen. (I used a proofing oven.)
To Cook the Muffins:
- Warm a large cast iron or non-stick skillet (you can also use a cast iron griddle) over low to medium-low heat.
- Place a few rounds of dough into the pan to fit comfortably. Don’t worry, they really won’t spread.
- Cook on one side for about 8 to 10 minutes, checking at the halfway mark for even browning. Adjust the heat if necessary. Flip the muffins over and continue to cook for an additional 8-10 minutes. When ready, the muffins should feel lightweight and the sides should spring back when pressed gently.
- Transfer the muffins to a wire rack to cool. Continue cooking the remaining rounds.
- When ready to eat, split them open using a fork piercing into the equator of each all the way around and gently prying open.
Muffins will stay fresh 2 days, stored in an airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature.
The tip to cooking English muffins is to find balanced heat. If the flame is too high, the outside will brown too quickly leaving the center undercooked. If you find this has happened, finish baking the muffins in a low heat oven (about 250F) until cooked through.
You can avoid this by doing a test run with one or two muffins to begin with to help guide your stove top heat.
You can make the dough Friday morning before you leave the house for the day, put it in the fridge at the end of the day, and then bake them on Saturday morning for a great treat.
Posted in Baking, Bread, Muffins, Recipes, The Piggy Pancake (Breakfast)
Tags: American, breakfast, brunch, cornmeal, English muffins, muffins, rolls, sourdough
I am going to share a couple more breakfast recipes that use sourdough starter. I was in LOVE with these muffins! They are sweetened with pure maple syrup, are loaded with blueberries, and incorporate cornmeal. Delicious.
This recipe was adapted from King Arthur Flour. I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of all-purpose flour, and added vanilla extract. Wholesome and tasty!
Posted in Baking, Muffins, Quick, Recipes, The Piggy Pancake (Breakfast)
Tags: blueberry, breakfast, cornmeal, discard, honey, maple syrup, molasses, muffins, sourdough, starter, whole wheat, whole wheat pastry flour
This is another wonderful one-pot vegetarian baked egg casserole that can be served any time of day. The title of the New York Times article about it was, “Polenta That You’ll Never Need to Stir: Baking a classic in a sea of eggs and cheese gives it complexity.” Irresistible. 🙂
This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Yotam Ottolenghi. I used my special grits from Charleston, South Carolina instead of polenta. I also increased the amount of garlic, reduced the red pepper flakes, and kept the corn kernels whole. I loved all of the brightness from the combination of fresh herbs. Delicious!
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
- 9 ounces (255 g) frozen corn kernels (about 2 cups), defrosted
- 6 to 7 ounces (~200 g) baby spinach (about 10 lightly packed cups), roughly torn or sliced
- 1 cup (150 g) coarse cornmeal (grits or polenta)
- 1 packed cup (50 g) finely grated Parmesan (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
- 5 scallions, thinly sliced, 2 T reserved for garnish
- 1/4 cup (20 g) roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus 1 T finely chopped and reserved for garnish
- 3 T roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 3 T roughly chopped fresh dill
- 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/4 cups (530 ml) whole milk
- 2 cups (475 ml) chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 3 T (40 g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 5 ounces (140 g) Greek feta, roughly crumbled (about 1 cup)
- 8 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 T olive oil
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes, plus more for garnish
- warm naan, pita, or crusty bread, for serving
- Heat the oven to 375°F/200°C, preferably on convection.
- If desired, add the corn to a food processor and pulse once or twice, just until roughly chopped. (I opted to leave the kernels whole.)
- In a large bowl, combine the corn, spinach, cornmeal, Parmesan, scallions, 1/4 cup cilantro, parsley, dill, garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a good grind of pepper; stir to combine.
- Transfer this mixture to a large, deep, oven-proof skillet, then add the milk, stock and butter, stirring gently to mix through. (I used a large enameled cast iron pan.)
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and give everything a good whisk.
- Return to the oven and bake until the cornmeal is cooked through and the mixture has thickened, about 20 minutes. Give the polenta another good whisk — it should be quite smooth and not completely set — then stir in half the feta.
- Increase the oven temperature to 425°F/220°C, preferably on convection.
- Use a dinner spoon to make 8 shallow wells in the polenta. Crack an egg into each well and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the remaining feta all over, and bake until the egg whites are cooked and the yolks are still runny, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine the reserved scallions and cilantro in a bowl with the oil. Spoon this mixture all over the polenta and eggs and sprinkle with the red-pepper flakes, if desired. Serve directly from the pan.
Posted in Casserole, Greens, Quick, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: baby spinach, brunch, casserole, cilantro, corn, cornmeal, dill, dinner, eggs, feta, grains, grits, one pan, one-pot, Ottolenghi, Parmigiano Reggiano, parsley, polenta, scallions, spinach, vegetarian
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My husband and I traditionally celebrate our wedding anniversary by having an extravagant dinner at VOLT in Frederick, Maryland. It is the restaurant of Bryan Voltaggio, of Top Chef fame. On our 19th anniversary, we brought home an autographed cookbook after enjoying our lovely meal. Last Thanksgiving, I made two side dishes from this special book. ❤
This stuffing recipe was adapted from Home: Recipes to Cook With Family and Friends by Bryan Voltaggio. I modified the proportions and used prepared stock as well as store-bought sausage as shortcuts.
Both the cornbread and the poultry seasoning can be made days in advance, which is always helpful. It was interesting to me that the cornbread was made without a leavening agent, making it more dense than a typical cornbread. The stuffing had a deep celery flavor from the celery seed and chopped celery. Nice.
For the Cornbread:
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 5 T (1/3 cup, 75g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp (9g) fine sea salt
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp (12g) molasses, honey, or sorghum syrup
- 1/4 tsp (0.6g) freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup (240g) buttermilk
- 1 cup plus 2 1/2 T whole milk
- 2 2/3 cups (400g) all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (276g) cornmeal
For the Poultry Seasoning:
- 2 tsp (2g) finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tsp (0.5g) finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp (1g) finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 tsp (1g) finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tsp (2g) ground celery seed
- 1 tsp (2g) ground coriander
- 1 tsp (2g) onion powder
- 1/2 tsp (3g) fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp (1.5g) freshly ground black pepper
For the Topping:
- 2/3 cup (50g) panko breadcrumbs
- 2 1/2 T (25g) poultry seasoning (above)
- 2 T unsalted butter, melted
For the Stuffing:
- nonstick cooking spray
- 3 T extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil
- 4 1/2 cups (300g) freshly baked and cubed cornbread
- 1 pound loose sweet Italian pork sausage
- 2 medium onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 4 to 6 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups chicken or turkey stock (preferably homemade)
For the Royale:
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (240g) milk or heavy cream
To Make the Cornbread:
- Preheat the oven heat to 350 degrees F, preferably on convection. Spray or butter the bottom and sides of two 9-by-13-inch baking dishes. (One 13-by-18 inch casserole pan can be substituted.)
- Put the sugar, 5 tablespoons butter and the salt in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, waiting until each one is fully incorporated before adding another.
- Beat in the molasses and nutmeg.
- Reduce the mixer to low speed, add the buttermilk and milk, and beat until incorporated.
- Add the flour and cornmeal, and beat on low speed until well combined.
- Increase the speed to medium and beat until the batter is well-blended and thick, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour the batter onto the prepared baking dishes. Tap each dish on the counter to settle the batter.
- Bake until the cornbread springs back lightly when pressed with your finger, 22 minutes on convection or up to 30 minutes in a standard oven.
- Cool completely in the dish on a wire rack.
- The cornbread may be made 3 days in advance, covered with plastic wrap, and held at room temperature.
To Make the Poultry Seasoning:
- Combine the parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme in a small bowl.
- Add the celery seeds, coriander, onion powder, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
- The seasoning can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
To Make the Topping:
- Put the panko breadcrumbs in a medium bowl and add the poultry seasoning (the remainder may be used to season gravies and other holiday dishes).
- Drizzle with the melted butter and toss with your fingers to moisten the breadcrumbs. Set aside.
To Make the Stuffing:
- Preheat the oven heat to 325 degrees F, preferably on convection. Spray a 9-by-13-inch flameproof casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cube the cornbread and put into a large mixing bowl.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking it up into small pieces with the back of a spoon so it cooks evenly, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the sausage to the cornbread.
- Return the same skillet with the drippings to medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the carrots and celery, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetables to the cornbread and sausage.
- Put the eggs in a blender to make the Royale. Start the blender on low-speed and mix until the eggs are just blended.
- Put the milk or cream in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and heat until a thermometer registers 180 degrees F. Add to the eggs in the blender and mix on low speed until homogenized.
- Add the egg mixture to the cornbread mixture.
- Add 2 cups of stock. Season with salt and pepper.
- Fold everything together with a rubber spatula until fully combined and the stock has mostly been absorbed. The stuffing will seem a little too wet before baking.
- Spread the stuffing in the baking dish. Lightly tap the dish on the counter to even out the mixture in the pan.
- Add the topping, letting it fall from your fingers in an even layer across the top.
- Bake the stuffing until very hot and cooked through, 30 to 35 minutes.
- Turn the broiler on high, and broil the stuffing until the crust is GBD (Golden Brown and Delicious), 3 to 5 minutes.
- Serve family-style from the casserole dish.
Note: When blending hot liquids, first let cool for 5 minutes or so, then transfer to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open; this will prevent the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters and pulse until smooth.
Posted in Casserole, Holiday, Recipes, Sides, Thanksgiving
Tags: buttermilk, cornbread, cornmeal, Italian sausage, pork sausage, sage, sausage, side, side dish, stuffing, Thanksgiving, thyme, Voltaggio
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I used to make my husband a dish similar to this WAY back in the day before we were married. He was thrilled with this upgraded version.
I was inspired to recreate the dish after seeing a creamy chicken and mushroom casserole post on Kitchen Sanctuary.com. It just looked like it should be served over waffles! The cornbread waffle recipe was adapted from King Arthur Flour.com. They were absolutely amazing. (We will be eating them for breakfast in the near future.) To make it a complete meal, I layered steamed baby greens between the saucy chicken and crispy waffle.
I adapted the sauce recipe by using chicken thighs, cremini mushrooms, fresh thyme, increasing the garlic, and omitting the celery salt. I used sweet onions in the sauce but would possibly substitute shallots next time. To make the waffle batter, I measured the liquid by volume and the dry ingredients by weight. Perfection.
We ate this dish for dinner but it would also be wonderful served for brunch.
For the Creamy Chicken-Mushroom Sauce:
- 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped into big chunks or strips
- 9 T all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 T canola oil
- 2 T unsalted butter
- 3 yellow or sweet onions, peeled and finely diced (can substitute shallots)
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 5-7 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 300 ml milk
- 3 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 24 oz cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 240 ml heavy cream
- 6 T cornstarch (mixed with 10 T pan sauce – to make a slurry)
- fresh parsley, minced
Place the chicken pieces in a bowl with 6 tablespoons of the flour plus 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper. Toss to cover the chicken in the flour and seasoning.
- Finely chop the garlic and onions/shallots in a food processor.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet and add the chicken. (I used a large enameled cast iron pan.) Brown all over (it doesn’t need to be cooked through at this point). Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and put to one side.
Place the butter in the same pan and melt over a low-medium heat.
Add the onions, garlic, and thyme sprigs and cook for 5 minutes until the onion softens, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Sprinkle on the remaining 3 T of flour and stir for a minute (it will be lumpy).
Pour in a splash of the stock and stir, using a whisk until combined. Continue to add in stock, a little at a time, while stirring, until all the stock is added and you have a smooth sauce with no lumps.
- Remove thyme sprigs.
Add the milk, bring to a boil, and continue to stir over the heat until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice.
Add the mushrooms, the chicken and the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper. Place a lid on the pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
Remove the lid and stir in the cream, then heat through for a further 5 minutes.
Remove the lid and test for seasoning. Add a little more salt and pepper if needed.
If you’d like the sauce to be any thicker, then at this point you can stir in the slurry. Add a little splash at a time, while stirring, until you get the thickness you want. (I incorporated all of it.)
Serve garnished with minced parsley, as desired.
For the Cornmeal Waffles:
- 1 3/4 cups (397 g) buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 5 T (85 g) butter, melted and cooled OR 3/8 cup (74 g) vegetable oil
- 177 g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 138 g (1 cup) yellow cornmeal
- 25 g (2 T) sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter or oil.
- In a separate bowl, blend together the dry ingredients, then quickly and gently combine the wet and dry ingredients.
- Let the batter sit for 10 minutes, to allow the cornmeal to soften.
- Drop the batter by 1/3-cupfuls onto a hot waffle iron, and cook it until steam stops seeping from the iron, about 5 minutes.
- Set aside on a cooling rack to allow steam to release. Keep warm in an oven or warming drawer until ready to serve.
For the Steamed Greens:
- 4-8 cups mixed baby greens (kale, chard, spinach)
- coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Microwave greens in a covered glass dish with 2 T water for about 4 minutes, or until wilted. (Alternatively, greens can be steamed on the stove top or sautéed.)
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Top 1-2 waffles with steamed greens.
- Smother with creamy chicken-mushroom sauce, garnish with minced parsley. Serve immediately.
Posted in Casserole, Chicken (Poultry), Greens, Recipes, Soups, Stews, & Chowders
Tags: boneless skinless chicken thighs, breakfast, brunch, buttermilk, chicken thighs, cornmeal, cornmeal waffles, cream sauce, cremini mushrooms, dinner, greens, mushrooms, thyme, waffles
The plus side (supposedly!) of the original recipe for this dish from Martha Stewart was that it was a vegetarian casserole without cheese. After seeing an adaptation on Kirkley Crossing, I added fresh mozzarella. Cheese makes everything better! I added fresh spinach too.
I made the polenta but did use jarred marinara as a shortcut. We enjoyed it with a green salad. Cheesy vegetarian casseroles are perfect comfort food in cold weather!
Yield: Serves 6
For the Polenta:
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup polenta or coarse yellow cornmeal (not quick cooking)
- Mix one cup of liquid with the cornmeal and stir. This prevents the cornmeal from lumping when added to the boiling liquid.
- Bring the remaining stock to a boil in a 3 or 4 quart sauce pot and add the salt and pepper.
- To the boiling stock, pour the cornmeal slurry in a steady stream, stirring constantly until completely added.
- Simmer over low heat, stirring often, until done, about 30 to 40 minutes. When done, polenta will pull away from the sides of the pot and will be soft in texture.
- Remove the pot from the heat and finish as desired. Adjust the consistency with additional stock or water, if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Pour onto a greased half-sheet pan and refrigerated until cool and firm. (I coated the sheet pan with cooking oil spray.)
For the Layered Eggplant & Polenta Casserole:
- 24 oz jar (3 cups) marinara sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Italian Marinara Sauce with Barolo Wine- delicious!)
- 1 batch Polenta (recipe above)
- 2 large handfuls organic baby spinach, coarsely chopped
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil, or more if necessary
- coarse salt
- 1 medium eggplant, preferably organic, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- 1 pound (16 oz) fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
- Heat oven to 400 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Preheat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Slice polenta into squares about 1/2 inch thick. (I cut mine into 24 pieces.) Brush lightly with olive oil. Place in the skillet until lightly browned. Flip over and repeat. Transfer to a plate.
- Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place in the skillet until nicely browned, flip over and repeat. Transfer to a plate.
- Spoon about 1/2 cup tomato sauce into a 9-inch square baking dish, spreading to coat evenly. Arrange eggplant slices snugly in a single layer. (I used 9 slices per layer.)
- Top each round with a sprinkling of spinach (1 large handful) and a slice of mozzarella cheese.
- Top with a layer of polenta.
- Spoon about 3/4 to 1 cup tomato sauce over the top. Repeat with another layer of eggplant, spinach, cheese, and polenta. Finish by dotting with remaining tomato sauce.
- Cover with foil; place baking dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until bubbling and juicy, about 45 minutes.
- Remove foil; place on upper rack in the oven and continue baking until sauce is lightly caramelized and eggplant is tender, about 15 minutes more.
- Remove from oven; let cool slightly, and serve.
One Year Ago:
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Posted in Casserole, Greens, Recipes, Vegetarian
Tags: casserole, cheese, comfort food, cornmeal, dinner, eggplant, fresh mozzarella, grits, marinara, polenta, spinach, vegetarian