Saturday, March 31, 2018

Low Fat Cornbread

  • I needed to make some cornbread to go with our gumbo, but I also wanted to try cutting the fat in the recipe. I've used liquid egg substitute before, and also have tried replacing oil with unsweetened applesauce. This time I had a pouch of baby food carrot/apple puree, so I tried that. I also used skim milk. The results were great. My husband actually liked it better than the usual; he said it was much less crumbly than usual cornbread.  Here is my adjusted recipe from the Quaker Corn Bread box. 

  • Low Fat Cornbread

  • 1 cup Quaker Yellow Corn Meal
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg substitute
  • 1 pouch baby food puree, applesauce or carrot/applesauce blend, or 1/2 cup regular applesauce.

Preheat oven to 425° F. Spray 8-inch square pan or pie pan with non-stick cooking spray. In large bowl, combine corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add milk, egg substitute and baby food puree. Beat until fairly smooth, about 1 minute. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 20 to 23 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve hot with butter and/or honey. Of course, if you use butter, you eliminate the fat-free part, but it's still lower in fat than usual.   

Gumbo, Milwaukee Style

Gumbo - Milwaukee Style
We tried gumbo at several different restaurants in Alabama and Louisiana in February, and they were all a bit different, and each one claimed to be "the best".  After a month back in cold, damp Wisconsin, Garry was craving some, so I gave it a try. I started with the recipe from Kevin Belton's "Big Flavors of New Orleans" cookbook, and had to make some adjustments with ingredients that were available at my local grocery, as well as cutting the quantity by half. My apologies to Mr. Belton. His PBS show, Kevin Belton's New Orleans Kitchen, is one of my favorites! He's very entertaining and passionate about cooking. I've made some other dishes from his book. I'm calling this "Milwaukee Style Gumbo", since I had to substitute frozen shrimp, crab and okra, and chicken broth instead of fish stock. I used Usinger's Andouille Sausage and Penzey's Cajun Spice mix. I also replaced green pepper with red pepper just because we don't care for green pepper. 

Gumbo - Milwaukee Style
Makes approximately 6 servings

1 box (32 oz) chicken stock or broth
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup flour
1 small onion, chopped
1 red or green pepper, diced
1 rib of celery, diced
1 box frozen okra
1 lb frozen raw shrimp, cleaned, shelled, deveined, thawed and rinsed
2 links Usinger's Andouille sausage
1 cup of frozen lump crabmeat 
2 TBS Penzey's Cajun Spice Mix 

Put the stock or broth in a large dutch oven with the water and bay leaf, bring to a boil and turn down to simmer. 

Make the roux (thickener for the gumbo), by warming the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the flour gradually, whisking it in. Keep stirring over medium heat with a wooden spoon as it bubbles and then begins to turn brown. Take it off the heat when it turns peanut butter color, and pour into a separate bowl. It will continue to cook a bit and turn browner. 

Flour and oil beginning to cook.
Remove from heat when it is peanut butter color.
Roux continued to cook and get darker brown after
I removed it from the pan
Wipe out the skillet, and add 2 tsp oil to the pan, along with the red or green pepper, celery, and onion. Cook about 5 minutes over medium heat. 

Add the vegetables to the simmering broth. Add 2 TBS Cajun spice mix, roux and okra. Stir well and simmer for 30 minutes. 

Note: 2 TBS of Penzey's Cajun spice mix made a medium-hot gumbo. Use more or less to your taste. 

Cut the sausage into 1/2 inch slices. Add the sausage, shrimp, crabmeat. Simmer 5 minutes. 

Don't overcook the shrimp or they will be rubbery. Serve over rice, if desired. 

The cornbread was another recipe test. I've posted the recipe, Low Fat Cornbread.