Posted by: cosmicgarden | November 25, 2011

Pre-Thanksgiving Ham, Blackeyed Peas and Cornbread

We baked a ham last night. Ohhhh soooo sinful. It was a good one. Sliced spiral cut with an orange clove glaze. 
I soaked a bag of black-eyed peas overnight and they are slowly cooking now.

For white bean soup I usually make a mirepoix to add to the soup after the beans are tender. For the black-eyed peas I changed it and cooked the carrots, celery, onion, in a bit of bacon grease. When the beans were tender and the mirepoix had sweated and cooked down quite a bit I combined them. Then added some bay leaves and a large handful of dried tomatoes from the 2010 garden harvest.  I was pleased how they come back alive in soup.  A pinch of salt and a lot of fresh ground pepper. When we’ve gotten all the ham off the bone I’ll throw that in too. IF there are any black-eyed peas left by then. My team of tasters had to try it first, then we had servings for dinner.

I made a pan of cornbread, not knowing that Sean was on his way with some special breads he’d baked. This is the cornbread recipe I used. I substituted creamed corn, green chiles and buttermilk for the milk called for in the recipe. I splurged and heated bacon grease in the skillet and poured the batter in the hot cast iron and it turned out with a nice crunchy brown crust and great flavors.

Yield 8 servings

Time About 45 minutes

Mark Bittman


If you want cornbread as it used to be, try the old-fashioned cornbread variation, below. The basic version is plenty sweet and rich enough, but you could add even more sugar, another egg, and even more fat. Or you could add bits of cooked bacon, sautéed onions or shallots, chili powder or cumin, chopped chilies or herbs, grated cheese, mashed or puréed beans or fresh, canned or frozen corn — you may have to adjust the amount of liquid you add.

  • 4 tablespoons butter, olive oil, lard or bacon drippings
  • 1 1/2 cups medium-grind cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, more if needed
  • 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put fat in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or in an 8-inch square baking pan. Place pan in oven.
  • 2. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix eggs into milk, then stir this mixture into dry ingredients, combining with a few swift strokes. If mixture seems dry, add another tablespoon or two of milk.
  • 3. When fat and oven are hot, remove skillet or pan from oven, pour batter into it and smooth out top. Return pan to oven. Bake about 30 minutes, until top is lightly browned and sides have pulled away from pan; a toothpick inserted into center will come out clean. Serve hot or warm.
  • Old-Fashioned Cornbread: Reduce fat to 1 tablespoon, sugar to 1 tablespoon (or none) and eggs to 1. Bake as above.
  • Lighter Cornbread: Separate eggs. Stir yolks into milk, as above, and beat whites until stiff but not dry, then gently stir them into prepared batter after yolks and milk have been incorporated. Bake as above.

Source: The New York Times

I wanted to take a photo while it was still in its round state in the skillet but I was not fast enough.  It’s one thing taking pictures of the steps during cooking but once the dish is freshly done, and kids have been ‘patiently’ waiting, I rarely get a picture before the dish is partially devoured.

My kitchen is so small the stove doubles as a pan storage area.


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