Corn Griddle Cakes

These are delicious made and served hot with butter and lots of maple syrup!

Corn Griddle Cakes

1 can corn, drained
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted

In a large bowl combine the drained corn, white all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, large egg, whole milk and melted butter.

Warm a large skillet over medium high heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Dollop large tablespoon amounts of batter onto preheated and prepared skillet leaving about 3 inches between each.

Once the cakes start to bubble, carefully flip them over with a spatula and cook another minute or two depending on desired doneness.

Work in batches.

Serve warm.

CHEW THIS! Skillet Meatballs

CHEW THIS!

Skillet Meatballs

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, June 5th 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Homemade meatballs are deliciously versatile…
Blaise Doubman

When developing a recipe, the first thing on my mind is flavor. What will add to the overall flavor of the recipe, what ingredients will contribute to the flavors I’m looking for and what will pair nicely with the flavors? Most of the time I’ll eat something I want to recreate and it will go from there. Take this recipe for skillet meatballs for example. There’s a popular restaurant chain that has a meatball sandwich on its menu. I’ve eaten this more times than I’m willing to admit, and after a friend and I got to thinking about what could possibly be the secret ingredient in their meatballs, I sat out to crack the code myself. It took a little experimentation, several recipe testers and lots of ground beef, but I can happily say, I cracked the code.

I have a recipe on my blog for hamburgers that are perfect on a charcoal grill and served with cooked onions and peppers. I remember developing that recipe and adding all kinds of things to the ground beef, to try and add flavor. Then I thought – why am I doing this? You want to be able to taste the freshness of the ground beef, right? So I went minimal, which is what I’ve done here. I’ve added bread crumbs to help bind the meatballs and hold them together, and added two main flavor components – yellow squirt mustard and fresh basil. The yellow squirt mustard gives the ground beef subtitle flavor, and the fresh basil combines nicely with the overall flavors and adds a fresh background note. This is my go to meatball recipe…

Skillet Meatballs

I prefer this method over baking them in the oven. These are very versatile. The recipe can be doubled, tripled or more! These are delicious served over warm spaghetti or, my personal favorite, placed into sub buns and served with homemade tomato sauce, or marinara sauce, sliced mozzarella cheese and a sprinkling of Parmesan. These also make a perfect appetizer. Serve with toothpicks and a side dish of tomato sauce and/or barbecue sauce. Keep them warm by placing them in a low heated slow cooker. 

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup whole milk
2 pounds ground beef
1 tablespoon yellow squirt mustard
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
Olive oil, for frying

Start by placing the panko bread crumbs in a small bowl and pouring over the whole milk. Allow the bread crumbs to soak for 2 minutes.

In a large bowl, place the ground beef and 1 tablespoon yellow squirt mustard, along with the diced onion, melted butter, eggs, chopped basil, salt, pepper and milk soaked bread crumbs.

Mix everything together using a fork, and a light hand. Be careful not the over mix the meat mixture.

Heat about 1/4-inch of olive oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Allow to heat up 2 minutes.

Form the meat mixture into meatballs a little bigger than the size of your standard ping pong ball and place into the skillet.

Fry the meatballs until they are browned on all sides and cooked through, about 15 minutes. You will need to turn them occasionally.

Serve on spaghetti, as appetizers with toothpick holders or in sub-buns as meatball sub sandwiches, topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.

CHEW THIS! Simply Fried Morel Mushrooms

CHEW THIS!

Simply Fried Morel Mushrooms

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, May 1st 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

Morel mushrooms go from forest to table – if you can find them…
Blaise Doubman

Growing up, I always heard stories of morel mushroom hunting and it always seemed like something magical to me. I would listen carefully to my Mom, Darla, discuss in detail to my Grandpa Max, about how she had went into this certain patch of woods and she would pull back some brush, and find a huge patch of morel mushrooms! I have never really been a fan of spending my summer afternoons in the thickest part of the woods in the heat and humidity, sharing my personal space with bugs, snakes, and who knows what else – but over the years I have tried it, and it’s never really grew on me. The stories made the hunting seem more magical to me than they really were. And let’s just get this out in the open – I have never, not once, found a morel mushroom. I must not have “the gift”. “The gift” is something that my parents both share, as well as my brother, Damon. I don’t really have the skill I guess, and people don’t rely on me much to find them, but they do rely on me to cook them.

Over the years I have experimented with these, but never could find a way that was better than how my Grandpa Max would fix them. I tried dredging them in Parmesan cheese, I tried crispy onion breading and even pickling them – nothing really worked out that well. I decided to just settle on the method of simple frying. It maintains their taste, and integrity without changing the texture or flavor that much. I’ll admit that I’m not really the biggest fan of these, but I know people (almost everyone in my family) that go wild for this delicacy. Some words of caution if you decide to go hunting for these – be sure to ask permission of the landowner if the land you’re hunting on isn’t yours, wear bug spray, watch out for ticks, wear long pants and long sleeves to cover up as much skin as you can, and if you find a prime location for morel mushrooms, keep it to yourself – that’s one secret real mushroom hunters will never share!

Simply Fried Morel Mushrooms

These mushrooms can be eaten in a variety of ways. Try them fried and then drizzled with balsamic vinegar or even as a special topping to your average salad. For a savory treat, try tossing them in with some Parmesan sprinkled pasta or even pair them with fresh sea scallops. The possibilities are endless. My Great Grandpa, Willie Davis, would eat them between two slices of white bread – moral mushroom sandwich!

Batch of morel mushrooms (approx. 4-5 cups)
1 cup white all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
4 tablespoons salted butter

Start by cutting the morel mushrooms in half, length wise, and placing them in a large bowl of salted water. This is an important step in removing all of the impurities that the mushrooms can harbor. Place them in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours to throughly soak. Be sure the water completely covers all of the mushrooms for them to soak properly.

Once soaked, remove the mushrooms and drain on paper towels or a clean kitchen towel.

Combine the white all-purpose flour and yellow cornmeal in a shallow dish and mix together.

In a large skillet, place the unsalted butter and allow to melt over medium-high heat.

Once the butter starts to bubble, it’s time to fry. Take the mushrooms, one at a time, and dredge them in the flour and cornmeal mixture, and place them carefully in the skillet.

Fry the mushrooms until golden brown and crispy which will take about 6-8 minutes, turning he mushrooms once to ensure even frying.

Once fried, remove from the skillet and carefully lay them on paper towels to drain. Salt the mushrooms to your taste, and enjoy!

CHEW THIS! BBQ Pineapple Chicken, Corn Pudding and Rice

CHEW THIS!

BBQ Chicken, Corn Pudding and Rice

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The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, April 17th 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman 

A complete southern-style meal, with perfect pairings…
Blaise Doubman

I love a good southern-style meal, and this one may be one of my favorites. Usually when someone mentions a southern-style meal, my first thoughts drift to fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, macaroni and cheese, dumplings, cheesy grits, buttermilk biscuits, green beans, fried corn and okra. Southern-style food is classified as a lot more than just fried chicken, loads of butter and carbohydrates believe it or not. The cuisine of the Southern United States consists of a lot of flavor, and food, combinations that I’m sure many of you aren’t aware of. Did you know that in the southern cuisine there are culture influences from Africa, England, and Scotland? Did you also know BBQ, rice and corn are all listed in the online food index as having “southern influences”?

I love hearing from my readers, and many of you have written asking for meal ideas, recipes for main dishes, and recipes for side dishes. I love to bake, but I also love to cook as well, so coming up with something like this isn’t anything out of my comfort zone. I did end up taking myself out of my comfort zone though, when I decided I wasn’t going to fry anything for this southern-style meal. I wanted to produce something southern, but not in the typical way a lot of people associate with the term “southern-style cuisine”. I wanted people to open their minds as to what could be classified as such, and with the combinations of BBQ, chicken, corn and rice – it was a perfect match!

BBQ Pineapple Chicken, Corn Pudding and Rice

If you don’t like pineapple, feel free to leave it out of the recipe, and just add the BBQ sauce to the chicken breasts – no need to do any recipe readjustments. The flavors in this meal compliment each other nicely and even better when served with a side of roasted broccoli. Roasted broccoli is a simple side dish. Take fresh or frozen broccoli florets and place on a sheet pan. Drizzle the broccoli with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and a couple of teaspoons each salt and black pepper. Toss all together with clean hands, and place in preheated 425-degree oven for 30 minutes. This same recipe will work with all kinds of vegetables. Potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, squash… Flavorful – and healthy!

For BBQ Pineapple Chicken…

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 regular size bottle BBQ sauce
1 small can of crushed pineapple

For the Corn Pudding…

1 regular sized can whole kernel corn (undrained)
1 regular sized can cream style corn
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs, beaten
1 small box “Jiffy”- brand corn muffin mix
1 (4 oz) stick of salted butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

To make the BBQ pineapple chicken, spray the inside of your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray.

Place the chicken breasts inside the slow cooker and pour over the BBQ sauce, and can of crushed pineapple. Be sure the BBQ sauce and crushed pineapple is evenly distributed over the chicken breasts.

Set your slow cooker on high for three hours, or low for five hours until chicken is done.

To make the corn pudding, start by preheating your oven to 350-degrees F and lightly spray a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine both cans of corn, sour cream, beaten eggs, corn muffin mix, melted butter, salt and pepper.

Pour this mixture into the prepared casserole dish, and place in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes until the top is dry and the interior is still slightly wobbly.

Remove from oven, and allow to cool slightly before serving.

To prepare the white rice, follow the package directions of your favorite rice. I also prefer to use the “stovetop” method, adding a little salt and butter to the rice.

Leftovers from this meal can be kept in a covered container, in the refrigerator, for up to three days and reheated in the microwave.

Cake Mix Yeast Rolls

Blaise the Baker

Originally published on “Blaise the Baker” October 14th, 2015

A friend of mine offered me the challenge of using a cake mix to make something other than a cake or cookies – and something that was savory and not sweet. Guess what!? I did it! With research and development I have discovered a recipe for “Cake Mix Yeast Rolls”. Yep! You heard that right… And they taste nothing like cake. They taste everything like yeast rolls!!!

No kneading, and simple as can be!

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Cake Mix Yeast Rolls

1 envelope dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 cups white all-purpose flour
1/2 package of white cake mix
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Start by combining the dry active yeast and warm water in a large bowl. Swish around slightly to make sure yeast is dissolved.

Next, add in the white all-purpose flour, white cake mix, salt and melted butter. Stir well until everything is incorporated.

Transfer dough to a bowl and cover with vegetable oil. Turn to coat the whole dough ball with the oil. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.

Spray 24 muffin cups with non-stick cooling spray and divide dough evenly between cups – filling each muffin cup about 1/2 full.

Cover again with kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake yeast rolls for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow to cool in pans.

Enjoy!