Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving ideas including CORNBREAD!

I have been a fan of cornbread ever since I was a child. I really used to enjoy almost any decadent homemade recipe which were staples of either friends or family, however, I would not touch any sort of dry cornbread. Crumbles everywhere? No, thank you. No matter what anyone tells you, cornbread should never, EVER be dry. This recipe stomps all over those notions and is full of nutrient dense saturated fats from raw milk and grass-fed butter.

Now I am revisiting my favorite recipe just a few days before Thanksgiving. It's simply the greatest recipe. For the past few Thanksgiving holidays, I've been responsible for making the cornbread. My "family" and friends have been so happy to help themselves each year. It's a real treat when it comes piping hot from the oven :) I created the original recipe back in 2009, and I've never looked back since. It's too good! And that's one reason I try to make it ONLY once a year ;) Someday I hope to created an even better version nutritionally by soaking or sprouting the corn. Making it GAPS legal would be a feat too. For now, I don't have time to mess with perfection. Maybe next year. Even though it is not grain-free and does not use soaked/sprouted corn, I think that once a year I can make an exception, a very tasty exception.

Golden brown top :)

Unlike most cornbread recipes, this bread is so moist that you don't have to slather it in butter to make it palatable. Another great thing is that it gets even better as it ages. Sitting in the fridge for a week (be sure that for storage, you refrigerate after you bake) only makes the cornbread better! It warms up nicely in the oven as well. That is if you have leftovers, which I doubt it ;)

Moist and buttery inside :)

The Best Cornbread
    makes one 9x13
    1 cup  uncooked polenta - I used Bob's Red Mill
    1 cup  MASECA "Masa" Instant Corn Masa Flour or equivalent masa
    2 cups   stone ground cornmeal - I used Bob's Red Mill
    2 cups  raw whole milk
    1 cup  organic cane sugar
    4 tsp  baking powder
    1 tsp  baking soda
    1 tsp  sea salt
    4  real eggs
    2  sticks unsalted grass-fed butter, softened
    2  heaping cups fresh cut off corn off the cob or frozen corn*

To make your cornbread:
    1.  Mix polenta, masa, cornmeal, baking powder + soda, and salt in large bowl.
    2.  In a small bowl, cream sugar and butter until fluffy. Add egg one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat on high speed until fluffy.
    3.  Add 2 cups of milk to the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir with a spatula until well combined.
    4.  Gently fold in the butter mixture into the bowl of milk/cornmeal. Make sure to FOLD in (do not stir) until combined.
    5.  Lastly, fold in the cut corn. You can leave it out, but I would not suggest it with regards to both flavor and texture of the cornbread.*
    6.  Pour into a lightly greased 9 x 13 pan (use coconut oil, old butter wrappers or olive oil spray MISTO and bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. You will know the cornbread is done when it springs back like a cake in the middle, a poker will come out clean, and the top is a lovely golden brown.

*The addition of fresh corn "off the cob" into the batter gives the bread a whole other dimension of both taste and flavor. If you don't have fresh corn, use frozen corn, but be sure to look for NON-GMO and organic so you do not consume any genetically modified corn.

Now I also want to share with you some other great Thanksgiving ideas that I've found my own archives and from fellow real food bloggers. Because Thanksgiving isn't ONLY about the cornbread ;)

Easy pre-festivities breakfast
     Two versions of pumpkin pancakes: Pumpkin Pancakes, Primal Pumpkin Pancakes
     Grain-free waffles
     Pumpkin Smoothie

Before dinner munchies
     Grain-free crackers
     Nourishing Protein bars
     Grain-free pumpkin bread or grain-free pumpkin muffins
     Raw veggies with some savory dip and also guacamole
     Deviled pastured eggs with real mayonnaise
     Spicy nuts

Beverages throughout the day
     Eggnog (with raw milk, pastured eggs, raw honey and NO HFCS!)
     Fermented apple cider
     Hot apple cider
     Hot chai cocoa 
     Coconut milk dark cocoa
     Raw milk

Making the perfect turkey
     Brining [pre-roast prep]
     Making chicken (turkey) stock [for basting]
     Where to buy the perfect turkey (if you don't have a local farmer as a source)

And if you're feeling adventurous... TURDUCKEN! 
Check out this funny commentary:

     Roasted Brussel Sprouts with special additions
     Cranberry Sauce or Cranberry-Onion Compote
     Faux Potatoes
     Traditional Mashed Potatoes a little bit different
     Roasted Sweet Potatoes
     Vanilla Mashed Sweet Potatoes

     Primal Pumpkin pie
     Maple Walnut pie
     Grain-free Crunchy Apple Cobbler
     Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
     Homemade French Vanilla Ice Cream
     Homemade peanut butter cups
     Pumpkin swirled brownies
     Fresh whipped cream

Enjoy these Thanksgiving recipes! (Still looking for more ideas? Take a look at my recipe roundup from last Thanksgiving!) And remember everyone, this is not your typical dry cornbread. This bread is moist, decadent and lovely. Eat up! And of course, be sure to share some with your favorite people. I promise it will disappear as fast as mine!

Remember that our abundance ultimately comes from the Lord!

Isaiah 55:1-3 (NKJV)
1 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts,
      Come to the waters;
      And you who have no money,
      Come, buy and eat.
      Yes, come, buy wine and milk
      Without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
      And your wages for what does not satisfy?
      Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
      And let your soul delight itself in abundance. 
3 Incline your ear, and come to Me.
      Hear, and your soul shall live;
      And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—
      The sure mercies of David.