Wednesday, January 9, 2008

January 9: Cornbread Casserole

So far one of the biggest benefits to this blog seems to be that, because of it, I always know what the date is. That is not generally something I know.

My real, paying gig is for a person (who shall remain nameless) who runs a non-profit agency (which, also, shall remain nameless, although I'm sure most of you already know who I work for or could find out without much trouble, but I'm not looking to be fired). This person works 20-hour days, seven days a week, and is always slightly dismayed to discover that her exceptionally loyal, extraordinarily talented staff does not. Nevertheless, I, as well as many of my colleagues, regularly find myself working until 6 p.m. or later.

I have a very small child, and a husband who is a teacher and eats lunch at 11:10 A.M. When I get home, we are all very hungry, and nobody, myself included, has the patience to sit around and wait while I lovingly prepare a four-course meal.

This is my confession: during the week, in spite of all these monumentally slow meals I keep posting recipes for, I rely rather heavily on what can be prepared quickly and easily. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced, seasoned with minced garlic and salt and pepper, sauteed, and tossed with canned tomato sauce, a splash of red wine, and a handful of dried herbs and parmesan cheese and served over pasta is a big hit lately, as is--oh, I am really embarassed here--chili dogs and cole slaw. What can I say? The chili, at least, is homemade, as is the coleslaw.

I haven't tried this recipe, but it's made with things I have around, and according to MSN Lifestyle, where I found it, it takes five minutes to prep and an hour to bake. It's barely cooking, really just mixing and sticking in the oven, but it's better than fast food, I think. You've got an hour, right? I've got an hour. I will try it, probably with a bowl of chili, and I will probably make some attempt at livening it up a bit--maybe some minced onion, maybe some cheese. If you make this, please let me know how it went.

A word about sodium: this has a lot, as well as being high in fat and cholesterol, although there's a little fiber in this and it sounds like a little probably goes a long way. Sodium is one of those things I try to watch because my blood pressure has been up the last few times I've been to the doctor, and I don't want it to complicate my already relatively complicated medical issues. Unsalted butter, no-salt-added canned corn, and, if they make it, no-salt-added creamed corn, could help. So could conserving a little ahead of time when you know you're going to be making this dish. All things in moderation, people, including moderation.

Serves 6.

Cornbread Casserole

1/4 pound butter, melted
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn
1 (15 ounce) can creamed corn
1 (8.5 ounce) package corn bread mix
1 ounce sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a mixing bowl, combine butter, whole corn, cream corn, corn muffin mix and sour cream. Fold all ingredients together, pour into 2 quart casserole dish. Bake for 1 hour.

January 25: Edited: We tried this last night. I stirred in a little hot sauce as well as a handful of shredded cheddar cheese. OH MY GOD, kids, this tastes amazing. It is unbelievably good. It is also incredibly fattening. I could practically feel myself getting fatter as I ate. It was a surprisingly bad feeling, one that really almost overwhelmed my enjoyment of this incredibly decadent side dish. I ate a very modest serving of it, as well as a smallish baked chicken cutlet with panko and a whole lot of salad. Nevertheless, there is more in my refrigerator, and by God, I may wake up at 2 a.m. and have a spoonful of it, straight from the plastic storageware. It will probably approximate the feeling I get when eating Betty Crocker Frosting straight from the container with a spoon.

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