Here is a classic unsweetened Southern cornbread that is perfect for a round or rectangular loaf, a savory stuffing and corn sticks. For savory variations, stir into the batter a generous handful of crumbled crisp bacon or cut corn kernels, some minced fresh jalapenos or chopped scallions or a cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
1 1/2 Cups Coarse Ground Yellow Cornmeal
3/4 Cup Unbleached Flour
3/4 Teaspoon Salt
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
2 Beat Eggs
1/2 Cup Buttermilk
1 Cup Milk
3 Tablespoons Melted Unsalted Butter
Preheat your oven to 375° F. Grease a 2 quart glass baking dish. In a large size bowl, stir together the cornmeal, flour, salt and baking powder. In a separate medium size bowl, beat the eggs with the buttermilk and milk. Add the egg mixture to the cornmeal mixture and stir together until just moistened. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Stir in the melted butter. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 25 minutes until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow the cornbread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before cutting it into squares and serving. If you are using it for stuffing, let the cornbread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a large baking sheet. Using your fingers, crumble the cornbread into coarse bits. Spread the crumbles out on the baking sheet and allow them to air dry for 2 hours. Then prepare the stuffing or store the cornbread in a plastic bag for up to 2 days. Serves 8 or makes 2 quarts crumbled.
Use Victoria’s Dry Rub to add new flavor to these roasted hens. You can stuff them with either wild rice or my Southern Cornbread (recipe to follow).
Stuffing & Hens:
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
6 Ounces Diced Andouille Sausage
3 Diced Carrots
1/2 Cup Chopped Onion
3 Diced Celery Stalks
3 Minced Garlic Cloves
1 Bay Leaf
2 Tablespoons Chopped Sage
Crumbled Southern Cornbread or Wild Rice
1/4 Cup Chicken Stock
4 Cornish Game Hens (1 1/2 Pounds Each)
Victoria’s Dry Rub
Or 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt & 1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
1 Tablespoon Melted Unsalted Butter
Prepare the stuffing. In a large skillet melt the butter over a medium heat. Add the Andouille sausage, carrots, onions, celery, garlic and bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the sage and either cornbread or cooked wild rice. Continue to cook for a few minutes. Stir continuously to blend the flavors. Add the chicken stock, stir and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside until you are ready to stuff the hens. This stuffing can be prepared and refrigerate, covered, up to a day in advance. Remove the bay leaf before stuffing.
Thoroughly rinse and dry the hens. Rub the hens inside and out with Victoria’s Dry Rub or the salt and pepper mixture. Fill the cavity of each hen with 3/4 cup of stuffing. Spoon the remaining stuffing into a well buttered baking dish and cover with a tight fitting lid or aluminum foil. Arrange the hens in a roasting pan and brush with the melted butter. Place the pan and baking dish in the oven. Roast for 45 minutes until the hens are nicely browned and crisp and the juices run clear when a thigh is pricked with a fork. The dish of stuffing should be very hot. Serve each hen on a small bed of additional stuffing. Serves 4
Here is an easy, but elegant Chocolate Mousse that is sure to make your mother smile.
3/4 Cup Unsalted Butter
3/4 Cup Unsweetened Dutch Cocoa
3 Large Separated Eggs
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 1/4 Cups Heavy Whipping Cream
3 Tablespoons Orange Liqueur
3 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract
Extra Whipped Cream For Garnish
Raspberries For Garnish
In a medium saucepan melt the unsalted butter over a low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa. Mix until smooth. Set aside to cool. In a large size bowl beat the egg yolks, with a hand mixer, until they are nice and thick. They should have a lemon color. Slowly beat in 1/4 cup of sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Now beat in the cocoa mixture on low. Stir in 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and the orange liqueur. In a medium size bowl beat the egg whites until they are stiff. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Beat the remaining heavy cream, sugar and vanilla in a medium size bowl until soft peaks form. Be careful not to over beat. You don’t want to end up with butter. Fold into the chocolate mixture. Spoon into individual dessert dishes. Refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Garnish with whipped cream and raspberries. Serves 8