New Recipe!

I threw this dish together last night and it was so, so good. I have no idea what to call it or how to describe it.

The filling was leftover smoked chicken thighs, sausage, a bit of okra, onion, celery, garlic, bell pepper, ro-tel ("tomatoes with chiles", for you Owens out there) and cream cheese, all cooked down in the cast iron skillet, then topped with a fabulous cornbread mix and baked. The moisture from the filling gives the cornbread a nice moistness. It's a little bit cajun, a little bit like cornbread "dressing".

This is a great way to use up all the leftover bits of this and that one has inhabiting the fridge and freezer. Southern living would advise you to serve it with a green salad to make a meal, but alas all we had were apples, so that's what we ate. I think it lends itself to variations (crawfish instead of chicken, for example). Hope this inspires you to make your own version!

(the cornbread recipe is courtesy of Southern Sideboards)
for the cornbread topping:
1/2 c. butter
1 c. milk+1 tbsp lemon juice or vinegar
1 cup self-rising cornmeal, or, (regular cornmeal+1 tsp baking soda and 3/4 tsp salt)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg, beaten
thinly sliced or grated cheddar cheese (less than 1/2 cup)

For the filling:
1 1/2 Tbsp of Fat (oil, lard, butter)
1/4 large white or yellow onion, small dice
3 small stalks of celery, small dice
2 cloves, garlic, chopped
1/2 cup bell pepper, chopped
1/2-1 cup okra, sliced
1/2 pound of sausage, quartered and sliced
2-3 chicken thighs, de-boned and chopped
1 can ro-tel
1/2 block cream cheese, sliced

Preheat oven to 350

In a skillet over med-hi heat, warm the oil and add the onions and celery, season with salt. I chop as I cook, so while that is cooking, work on the next items, adding to the skillet as you go. Make sure the sausage is nicely cooked and add the ro-tel, plus one more dash of salt. Turn the stove to med-low and let the filling simmer. (hold off on the cream cheese for now)

While the filling is simmering, make the cornmeal topping. Pour 1 cup of milk into a cup, add 1 tsp vinegar or lemon juice and set aside. Melt 1 stick of butter (or 1/2 cup lard--which I did not use--this time. ahem). In a bowl, stir the cornmeal, baking powder, salt and whole wheat flour together. Beat the egg into the milk and add to the dry mixture. Stir, set aside.

Turn off the burner on the filling, and top the filling with slices of cream cheese. Pour the melted butter into the cornbread mixture and stir. It will seem like a lot of butter, but keep stirring. Spoon the cornbread mixture over the filling keeping it somewhat even. Pop into the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, checking for doneness around 25 minutes. When you check it for doneness, sprinkle the top with Tony's and a bit of salt and the cheddar cheese. Return to the oven until the cornbread is "done" and the cheese is melted.

Oh goodness, I am swooning just thinking about this recipe and the possibilities! Crawfish! Black eyed peas! Nothing but okra! (okay, I love okra too much)

Hope you enjoy!


Joey and Elizabeth said...

YUMMY!!! Definitely going to try this!

cheryl said...

You just "threw" this together? It sounds very good! For me to throw something together it would have about 2 ingredients. :)