Saturday, October 29, 2011


Yah,you-betcha! As if Swatches, Victorinox and Ricola weren't enough. Courtesy of Chateau Gruyere and Clausen's Sauerkraut a new star shines on the crown of The Anaglyphic Pone King tonight. Cornbread has now officially been Swiss-stylized.

I was a little bummed out at having no baby pictures for this batch, cause it really did have some photogenic ingredients. Fresh ears of white corn, a pair of almost purple red onions, and the slab of cheese nearly the color of the Chateau Gruyere. Add to that the bacon, buttermilk, sauerkraut, eggs, creamed-corn,and cornmeal and you've got quite a crowd going on the stove.

 Yeah, that's how there came to be no baby pix. I was a little scatterbrained, and had to back up and go down the  list and see what was missing more than once. First, the fresh corn grated off the cob didn't look like the 15oz of cream style corn I usually use. To keep from coming up short in the mini-loaf pans, I added half a can of creamed-white-corn and things looked better.

From experience I expected the bacon to make a flavorful but heavy corn bread. With that in mind, I made only one pan with bacon and bacon drippings. The other used only corn oil. Granted the sauerkraut could hold it's own with bacon, but the chances are the Gruyere would be pushed into the background. Keeping the oil straight was a little picky but not hard.

 In the pans the batter still didn't seem quite right to me. I ran down the list in my head, and got to sauerkraut before I noticed I hadn't opened it yet. I put 3/4cup or so onto a plate. I squeezed it into a narrow row, and cut it short with a knife. Then after squeezing the juice out and fluffing it back up, I added the kraut to the mini-loaf pans at the same the half-a-pound of crumbled crispy bacon and 4oz of grated Gruyere were getting added.

Gruyere is a harder cheese and doesn't bake the same as cheddar or Swiss. The pieces seem to hold together even in baking and give a "noisey" surface. Well there's no recipe card yet, but this story needed to get told. I reckon I can get back to the card, and maybe even an ingredient picture. No hurry. Like I told my wife, "It's hardly delicious at all."


Sunday, October 9, 2011


  Well whaddaya know? If ya don't scorch the regular canola oil, it doesn't make accusatory aromas. After writing the last post we did eat all of the slightly less than dreamlike last batch. My quality control consultant (wife) said she thought it was good. Well it was good, but I would have preferred great.

  The next batch is out of the oven, and the subtle flavor of toasted cheese was mmmuch better than a hint of scorched oil. The faint odor coming from the pre-heated mini-loaf pans was faint and slightly sweet. Ok it was pleasant, not corn oil pleasant but very nice. The oven is cooling, and the kitchen window is open to let out some of the heat. This time I find the aroma tantalizing.

  My apologies to the canola. It really is good enough for cornbread (in a pinch).

Saturday, October 8, 2011


 Duh! I suppose I shoulda took the hint from the heart smarter yogurt/olive oil version I referred to briefly in the Bacon Sauerkraut article. Changing so many things at a whack muddied the water. I knew it was sitting in the ditch when I woke up, but the whole neighborhood was new to me.

 Ok so it works good in sketti, I still know nothing about olive oils. I've had a chance to try several other cooking oils. The best was the refined canola I got to re-season a black iron skillet. Articles I read recommended the lowest hydrogen content available, and commented that this also related to smoke point. 

 The grocery store had a number of oil choices. You could tell who had the high smoke point cause they bragged about it. You could also tell they were proud of em price wise too, as they started at three times the price of regular veg-oil and went right outta sight.

 I settled on the filtered canola (450f smoke point) for my frying pan. At just under 13 bucks, it was a few cents cheaper than three times what twice as much as regular vegetable oil cost. It worked great on the frying pan, and even burning off it didn't smoke as bad as I was led to believe it would. The avocado oil was more expensive still and you got even less. I've fried with it before (550f smoke point if I remember correctly) it did taste great and didn't smoke up the apartment.

 I only used a little of the refined canola on the pan and saved the rest. I tried regular canola, (two different kinds) peanut oil, regular vegetable oil, and corn oil. Jury's still out on the peanut oil, but both the regular canola and the regular vegetable scorched pretty easy. While I was stirring in the cornmeal and preheating the pans, the oil got hot enough to fume in an unappetizing manner. If I'd been cooking eggs, I'd have stopped right then and wiped the oil out and tried again (now I know). But no! I went forward thinking, "I've seen bacon fat that looked hotter make good cornbread"(maybe).

 I've had better luck with corn oil. It doesn't seem as heat sensitave. It's delicate aroma is easy to smell before it goes sad. I could probably do better with the other oils if I was more cautious. Corn oil has made the most batches of excellent cornbread while filling the house with a wake you up in the night craving cornbread smell. On the occasions when I was out of corn oil, the high dollar canola produced a superior cornbread as well. So surprise really good oil does make really good cornbread, and though more delicate corn oil runs a close second. Hey, oils well that ends well.