Korean red chili pepper stew (gochujang jjigae)

A Korean-American friend of mine told me a while back that I must have been Korean in my previous life. I just love Korean food, even dishes that she thought would be too spicy for many people. I used to devour her homecooked lunch. LOL!

Continue reading “Korean red chili pepper stew (gochujang jjigae)”

Cornbread with green chiles

Happy first of May and Happy Cinco de Mayo! Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for “5th of May”) is a celebration of Mexico’s cultural heritage and pride. The festivities include parades, mariachi band performances, street festivals and of course — margaritas!

Mr Sweetie is Mexican-American which is why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated at our house. (Ok, I admit, it is a great excuse reason to make and drink margaritas at home! This is the one and only time each year that we ever drink hard liquor at home. He is not a drinker while I like wine and champagne, and the occasional drinks with girlfriends.)

The idea of drinking fruity margarita on a weekday seems fun and naughty whenever Cinco de Mayo falls on a weekday. However, this post is not about margaritas. It is really about corn bread with green chiles. The recipe has been adapted from the book “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” by Toni Tipton-Martin. It is called Spanish Corn Bread in the book. Jubilee is such a wonderful cookbook that I found at the San Francisco Public Library. The photos are mouthwatering. The book is a celebration of African-American cuisine and its history. It gained many accolades including being a winner of the coveted James Beard Award.

I made the Spanish cornbread in June 2020, just less than 3 months after California went into the first lockdown. I thought that May will be the best month to post it in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. This cornbread is so moist, so good, so delicious — the best one ever that it is a keeper. I will definitely make it over and over again! And in honor of Cinco de Mayo, I chose to post this delicious corn bread recipe.

I thought that I would also include my pretty little doll in the photos that I got during our trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in 2016, as well as the red bowl that I bought from a market in Mexico. They remind me of beautiful memories of our travels.

CORNBREAD WITH GREEN CHILES

Adapted from the book “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking” by Toni Tipton-Martin

  • 1 1/2 c yellow cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 c cream-style corn
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 1 – 4oz can diced green chiles
  • 1/2 c minced green onions
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 c shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 4 tbps butter, cubed into pieces

TO MAKE

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the corn, buttermilk, chiles, cheese and egg. Gently fold in the green onions.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture. Stir until combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Melt the butter in a 10-inch cast iron pan in the oven until foamy. Do not burn. Tilt the pan to coat it with the melted butter. Pour the batter into the hot skillet.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown.

MY NOTES

  1. Of course the original recipe is perfect but I would like to honor and respect not just copyright laws but the efforts and love that went into creating it by re-writing the recipe in my own words as much as possible. (I also do not want to plagiarize!)
  2. The changes that I made were: 1) Instead of using onions, I used green onions. 2) I also used a different title for my post from the original title in the book “Spanish Cornbread.”
  3. When I made the cornbread, I made half with chiles and half without. I only included the chiles in one half of the batter. The other half was just cornbread without the chiles. I made it this way because I knew that Mr Sweetie would not want chiles in his. I poured half of the batter without the chiles first then I mixed in the chiles with the other half then I poured that half into the skillet. It worked!
  4. I also used self-rising flour and omitted the baking soda, salt and baking powder.
  5. This cornbread is so good drizzled with honey!

Did you make CORNBREAD WITH CHILES? Please let me know by leaving a comment on the blog or on Instagram @msfoodloversfcooks. Enjoy!

Happy 1st of May and Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Easy cheddar corn fritters

While others like to shop for clothes, shoes or gadgets, buying food is one of my favorite past times. Since I have been faithfully sheltering in place, grocery stores are among the very few places that I allow myself to go to during the pandemic. Actually, aside from home and work, and once a month social distancing visit to my family, I really do not go anywhere. Every week without fail, you will find me roaming around Trader Joe’s and Grocery Outlet. I go to Costco every other month for a big grocery shopping spree where I explore Costco’s aisles for almost 2 1/2 hours! Costco shopping is an all day affair for me that I have to take a day off from work just to go. I just love finding new food and brands to try.

I am always buying food and very good at never wasting it if I can help it. I always make sure that I cook and eat what I buy. I also buy food to share as presents. I always bring a big bag of treats from Trader Joe’s for my sister and nephews. I am also always on a lookout for fun food for BFF whenever we do our short but sweet get-together because she spoils me with so much as well.

As a result of these regular food hauls, our fridge is packed to the point where Mr Sweetie and I have to play Jenga with groceries just so we can close the fridge and freezer doors. A month ago, I made a commitment to stop buying frozen items such as snacks, meats, seafood, etc. until I use up almost everything that we already have. I still go to Trader Joe’s every Friday to buy breads, new items on the snacks section, wines, vegetables and fruits but just foods that we can eat within the week.

I have been doing well with this goal. After about a month, the freezer has more space and I can start re-stocking again on frozen treats. One of the last bulky stuff in my freezer that I have been wanting to use up is a bag of frozen street-style corn. I have been wanting to try to make corn fritters and the bag of corn was just the perfect ingredient for the fritters. During the afternoon lull while working from home, I finally got to make them.

Even though I often try to cook or bake a dish few times before I post the recipe on my blog, this one is super-easy. It is truly a @lazychef2021 recipe. (Forgive my shameless plug about my super-new Instagram account where I post photos of food I make. Please check it out!)

Cheddar Corn Fritters is one of those recipes that will be hard to mess up which is why I decided to post it after making it just once. I was rewarded with thick and chubby savory/sweet corn-filled pancakes. Sky’s the limit with possibilities on how to make these fritters fancier by adding different types of cheeses, herbs, spices and different toppings. I made a simple and basic version. The crust is crispy while the inside is moist. I will definitely make these cheese corn fritters again!

CHEDDAR CORN FRITTERS

  • 1 1/4 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk or heavy cream
  • 2-4 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese

RECOMMENDED TOPPINGS FOR SERVING

  • Sliced green onions
  • Sliced jalapenos or chili peppers
  • Sour cream
  • Cotija (Mexican cheese) or parmesan cheese
  • A squeeze of lime
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
  1. In a large bowl, stir together the corn, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Stir slightly beaten egg, cheddar cheese and buttermilk into the flour mixture until combined.
  3. Put about a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and place it over medium heat. (I used a heavy cast iron pan.)
  4. Scoop 1/2 cup of the batter in to the hot oil, shaping it into a round patty.
  5. Cook the fritter for about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.
  6. Transfer the fried fritters to a plate lined with paper towel for the oil to be absorbed.
  7. Repeat with the remainder of the batter until used up. Add more oil to the pan as needed.
  8. Serve immediately with suggested toppings above.

MY NOTES

  1. I used a bag of seasoned street-style grilled corn. Since I have not used canned corn in this recipe, I will not recommend it yet. With frozen corn kernels, they are more tender than canned corn which sometimes are harder to chew. Drain excess liquid before using in the batter. Try to get seasoned corn if you can for added flavor but I am sure that regular ones are great as well.
  2. These fritters are perfect to re-heat in an air fryer for about a couple of minutes.

Did you make CHEDDAR CORN FRITTERS? Please let me know by leaving a comment on the blog. Enjoy!