Comfort Food: Buttermilk Skillet Cornbread with Tomatoes and Green Onions

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone! I know it’s pretty hot around here lately (and probably everywhere else, too!) but I’ve got another skillet recipe for you all if you can stand a little extra heat in your kitchen for about 30-45 minutes. I promise that it’ll be worth it, though. This recipe is a good one!

I love cornbread- especially when it’s homemade and served hot- but sometimes it can taste a little dry or bland all by itself. When I saw this slightly modified version, which loads up the classic recipe with a couple of different flavors and textures in the form of some unexpected vegetables instead of just corn kernels- which I’ve seen done in the past- I knew I had to give it a try.

I served this as a side dish with a meal I prepared for friends this past weekend as a substitute for standard dinner rolls, and it went over really well!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 pint assorted cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease an oven-safe 9-inch skillet with nonstick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the cornmeal with the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt to combine. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk, cooled melted butter and eggs; whisk well.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared skillet and smooth into an even layer.
  4. In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with the scallions, olive oil, salt and pepper to combine. Pour the tomato mixture on top of the corn bread batter.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the corn bread comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

This cornbread was rich and that m word that ends in “oist” that I refuse to say because it’s one of the worst words in the English language- but this WAS that word. The onions and the tomatoes were also still juicy after cooking this up and gave each bite some additional flavors that were much-appreciated. I’d like to try making this again and maybe add some green peppers to the recipe, as well.

I had a small amount left over that I’ll be enjoying for a mid-morning snack in a couple of hours, since this cornbread is appropriate for any time of day!

xx

– Ashley –

Backyard BBQ Recipes: Skillet Pasta with Summer Squash, Ricotta and Basil

I love ricotta- so much that I’d probably eat it straight out of the container with a spoon if I knew I wouldn’t hate myself afterwards- and I also love summer squash, but up until now I hadn’t really discovered a recipe that combined the two in a way that was both delicious and filling. I finally came across this skillet recipe via PureWow recently and knew I had to try my hand at cooking it up for one of the recent cookouts I attended over my Fourth of July weekend.

Loaded with different flavors and textures- I had a feeling this was going to be a crowd-pleaser before I’d even finished preparing all of the ingredients!

If you’ve got 30 minutes- you can make this, too. It’s quick, easy and perfect for a last-minute meal idea- especially if you’re feeding a lot of hungry people!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 pound pasta (like penne or rigatoni)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 1½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup finely grated Romano
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Fill a large skillet with water and salt it generously. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Once it’s boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the instructions on the package.
  2. Drain the pasta and set aside, reserving ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water.
  3. In the same skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
  4. Add the squash and tomatoes, and cook until both are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the reserved pasta water to the mixture and toss well to coat, then add the pasta and stir. Sprinkle in the Romano and stir again to combine.
  6. Dollop the ricotta on top of the pasta and garnish with basil. Serve immediately.

I admit, I used a little more ricotta than what was needed in the recipe- but I don’t regret it. This dish was delicious and filled me up in just one serving- and there was even enough left over to re-heat the following day for lunch (and it was just as good re-heated, too- which rarely happens!)

You can play around with the vegetables included in this one to better fit you or your guests’ preferences- but I liked it just the way it was and I know I’ll be making this one again!

xx

– Ashley-