Sunday, January 11, 2009

Buffalo Bean Soup and Classic Cornbread

This past week and a half has been filled with lots of baking (several snow days have kept me inside) and now I am finally getting around to posting it all.

Since being home we have eaten dishes with lamb, turkey, beef, pot roast, and most recently, I have been experimenting with buffalo. I especially thankful for all this lovely variety at protein, since when I am at school my protein choices are limited.

Sometime back in my childhood I remember going to some restaurant somewhere up in Northern New Hampshire, maybe North Conway? where I had my first taste of buffalo. Buffalo is different than beef in texture, taste, fragrance. The way it browns in a hot pan as you break it up with a knife is different than beef. The ground variety is less stringy. Brown both side by side in a pan and you will see what I mean. When they both cook up, the mountainous curves and bumps of the buffalo meat looks uniquely different than the beef. The taste of buffalo is so mild, and not at strong as beef.

That was, however, my first and last taste of buffalo for a while, until now. As I have become increasingly willing to experiment and I have demonstrated that I am capable of cooking (3 years working in foodservice really helped) my mom has let me go wild in the kitchen.

Well, maybe not wild.

But this soup is wild- wild on taste. It took my Dad one bite to declare, "This recipe is a keeper. I hope she wrote it down so we can make it again!"
Music to my ears!

Buffalo Bean Soup
serves 4 to 6 people, or less with leftovers

1 1/2 tsp coconut oil
1 pound grassfed organic ground buffalo meat
1/2 pound grassfed organic ground beef
1 half vadalia onion - diced
2 1/2 cups beef broth (I used Imagine)
2 1/2 cups water
1 can lightly drained corn
1 can lightly drained adzuki beans
1 can baked beans (be sure this is GF)
1 half vadalia onion - diced
1 orange bell pepper - diced
1/2 cup baby carrots - diced (use more or less depending on how much you have or how much you like carrots)
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp: black pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt
dash oregano, thyme
2 mildly heaping tsp arrowroot + water

To make your soup:
1. Place soup pot on the stove top. On medium heat, brown onion with coconut oil then add the buffalo and beef cook through. Do not drain off the fat- this is very nourishing!
2. Add the beef broth and water, diced pepper, carrots, onion, can of corn and both cans of beans. Add spices.
3. Let cook on medium heat, stirring often for about an hour. Cook for 30 minutes longer or until peppers, carrots and onions are soft.
4. Serve with cornbread.

It is very moist as cornbread should be, but it is not a super cakey gooey cream cornbread. Those types of cornbreads made with lots of dairy and creamed corn are not typically what cornbread is really about. This cornbread has a nice crumb, a balance of corn and textures of the other flours with a hint of sweetness. Next time I may try adding a whole can of corn so there are actual corn kernels.

Classic Cornbread
adapted from this website

1 cup stoneground cornmeal
1/4 cup uncooked polenta
3 Tbsp almond flour
1 Tbsp brown rice flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup white sorghum flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp: xantham gum, salt
2 REAL eggs (from grassfed chickens)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (Pacific) or raw whole milk
1/4 cup coconut oil - melted (Spectrum Organics) or grassfed butter
1/4 cup organic maple syrup

To make the cornbread:
1. Combine the wet and combine the dry in 2 separate bowls.
2. Add the wet to the dry and mix well.
3. Pour into a 9 X 9 X 2 baking dish.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, give or take depending on your oven.
5. Cut into squares. Serve with Buffalo bean soup.
6. Optional: make a mixture of 3 parts agave, one part honey. Microwave/zap for 30 seconds or until warm and fluid. Serve in a little pitcher for drizzling over cornbread.

My family and I ate this for dinner. It was a lovely feast for three. And we have leftovers!

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