Vegetarian

Roasted Jalapeno-Cheddar Skillet Cornbread

I am hosting my family for Thanksgiving this year. Holiday Hostess duties are my favorite. It combines all of my favorite things:

  • Organized chaos
  • Wine
  • Food
  • Wine
  • Feeding people
  • Wine
  • Football and stories and laughing and memories
  • Wine

As perfect as it sounds in my head, the reality is usually less sparkly and shiny. And way more wine-y.

  • I get SQUEEEEE excited and make a huge menu for twice the number of people, adding a couple of new dishes because nobody makes a good guinea pig like a person wearing stretchy-waisted pants on Thanksgiving!
  • My dad, who hosts every other year, gets upset that I’ve “changed things” on “my” year, and shows up with those couple of same dishes, made his way, even after he told me he wasn’t making anything.
  • We now have enough to food to feed half the city of Katy and no one wants to take their own leftovers home, much less mine.
  • WINE.
  • MORE WINE.
  • ALL THE WINE.

Roasted Jalapeno-Cheddar Skillet Cornbread

This year’s Thanksgiving menu is so far shaping up like this:

Appetizers & Drinks

Lunch Menu

Dessert

  • ALL THE PIES

Roasted Jalapeno-Cheddar Skillet Cornbread

For the last 6 years, every Thanksgiving and Christmas has included the holiday- and family-hit Roasted Chestnut and Sausage Dressing. It is simply amazing. But I wanted something more “Texas” this year and the arrival of November’s HEB Primo Picks immediately solidified what I was going to do about the dressing: cornbread.

{Side note: wait ’til you see what I’ve done with the Cranberry-Pomegranate-Jalapeno sauce and the Bacon Vinaigrette!}

HEB Tex's BBQ Fixins Cream Corn

Cornbread loaded with roasted jalapeno and cheddar cheese and cream corn and heavy cream and butter and sugar.

All baked in a cast iron skillet.

A scoop of warm, cheesy cornbread perfection is amazing all on its own but it’s even better served with chili. And it’s going to be even better than that topped with a ladle of gravy on Thanksgiving Day.

Roasted Jalapeno-Cheddar Skillet Cornbread

HEB has provided a selection of this month’s Ciao Italia Primo Picks to a lucky reader. To enter the giveaway, simply answer this question in the comments below: What is your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

Me: It’s a tie between Leftover Thanksgiving Sliders and The Cranwich. Because leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving. Besides the wine.

Update: The winner is Katie who loves the good ol green bean casserole.

Roasted Jalapeno-Cheddar Skillet Cornbread

A moist skillet cornbread loaded with cream corn, roasted jalapenos, and sharp cheddar cheese.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium-large jalapenos
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) + 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream*
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 14 oz package (or 1 can) of HEB Cream Corn
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cups cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • *I frequently sub with fat-free Greek yogurt. But not for Thanksgiving :) The batter is thicker but the end product is still moist (sorry, Kim) and delicious.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a small skillet roast the jalapenos, turning every few minutes, until most of the skin is blistered - you can also do this under a broiler or over open flame on the stove. I find a small skillet easiest while I'm gathering other ingredients.
  3. Transfer to a bowl covered with foil/plastic wrap and let cool enough to handle.
  4. Scrape the blistered skin, cut in half, remove the stem and seeds, and then dice the peppers.
  5. Melt 1 stick of butter and add to a large mixer bowl.
  6. Mix with the heavy cream, eggs, cheese, cream corn, and chopped jalapenos.
  7. Add the dry ingredients
  8. Heat a large cast iron skillet enough to melt 1 Tbsp of butter, swirl to coat.
  9. Transfer the batter to the skillet and then bake 35-40 minutes, just until the center is set (a knife will come out with moist crumbs attached).
  10. Let cool and serve with a spoon.

Notes

Yields: ~12 holiday side-servings, served spoonbread style

You can earn up to 4 extra entries by:
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow us on Facebook.
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow HEB on Facebook.
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow the blog’s Instagram feed.
– Leaving a separate comment below that you follow HEB on Pinterest.

The fine print:
– Maximum of five (5) entries per person.
– Giveaway ends at midnight (Texas time, y’all) on Saturday, November 15.
– Winner will be selected by one of those cold, soulless, unfeeling random number generator thingies and announced on this post.
– Winners will receive a selection of HEB Primo Picks from HEB.
– Prize must be claimed within 7 days or it will be forfeited.
– Prize can only be shipped to a US address.
– Official giveaway rules can be found here.

This recipe was developed in conjunction with H-E-B and I was provided ingredients as well as compensated for my time. Messy fingers, stretchy-waisted pants, and future therapy bills for my child are all mine. You can find H-E-B on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. And if you’re as lucky as we are, 3 locations within a 5 mile radius.

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Eggplant Parmesan Pasta Bake

You are looking at the greatest thing to ever happen to eggplant since pizza crust and goat cheese.

Eggplant Parmesan Pasta Bake

The eggplant tree in my garden still thinks it’s summer. And frankly, with highs still in the low 90s, it IS still summer.

While I was out of town last weekend, Jason sent me a picture of the three soccer ball-sized fruits he picked from the “tree.” All bigger than my 4-year-old’s head. When I got back, I took one of those soccer balls (just one – and I had leftover slices!) and turned it into the most amazing version of Eggplant Parmesan.

Eggplant Parmesan Pasta Bake

The dish comes together pretty easily – assuming you don’t find out at the last minute that what you thought was a jar of marinara turns out to be calorie-bomb vodka sauce and then thank all the baby Jesuses for those two cans of crushed tomatoes buried behind the year-old can of pumpkin.

Eggplant Parmesan Pasta Bake

You roast sliced eggplant for ~30 minutes to remove excess water and concentrate the flavors and then you layer it in a dish on top of half-cooked pasta with marinara (or “improvinara”), mozzarella, and parmesan. Another 30 minute spin through the oven and you have a golden brown, bubbling dish of Eggplant Parmesan perfection.

And your house doesn’t stink like yesterday’s fried foods the next morning.

Eggplant Parmesan Pasta Bake

Not all comfort food is terrible for you. This version of Eggplant Parmesan is lighter on fat, heavy on flavor.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 331.8 | Fat: 10.4g | Fiber 8.9g | Protein 12.9g | Carbs 49.5g

Ingredients

  • 8 oz dry pasta (I used whole wheat)
  • Olive oil
  • ~3 lbs eggplant, cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 1/4 cups marinara sauce, divided
  • 4 oz fresh mozzarella torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz) shredded Parmesan
  • Basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Lightly grease a casserole dish and a baking sheet (two sheets, if your eggplant is soccer ball-sized).
  2. Preheat oven to 400.
  3. Cook the pasta for half the time suggested on the package and then drain.
  4. Add the pasta to the casserole dish along with 3/4 cup of marinara sauce, stirring to mix. Top with another 3/4 cup marinara
  5. Brush each side of the eggplant rounds with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast for 15 minutes, flip and roast for 15 minutes more.
  7. Place half of the eggplant rounds over the pasta and top with half the mozzarella and Parmesan.
  8. Spread the remaining 3/4 cup marinara over top, followed by the remaining eggplant, mozzarella, and Parmesan.
  9. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cheese is brown and bubbling.
  10. Serve topped with basil, if desired.

Notes

Yields: ~6 servings

Adapted from Feast, via Annie's Eats

Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes

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Hatch chile ranch dressing

Hi.

I made hatch chile ranch dressing. And then nearly had to cage-fight my 4-year-old for the last spoonful in the jar.

This is probably where most “normals” would back up and explain a back story that makes them sound more normal and less dramatic – and definitely less violent. But I have no back story. And quite possibly am farther away from the “normal” label than most of you guys think.

Because the over-dramatic 4-year-old mushroom-cloud meltdown that ensued left me with very few options, with cage fighting being closer to the top than I should probably publicly admit.

Hatch chile ranch dressing

But enough already about my crappy parenting skills, right? I tweaked the world’s greatest jalapeno ranch dressing and subbed in hatch chiles for what turned out to be a pretty amazing green chile dip and dressing. One over which tears were literally shed.

So go roast those green chiles. Throw them in a blender with a handful of other things that we both know that you already have on-hand. Push a button. And then grab that bag of chips bowl of salad bowl of chips.

Hatch chile ranch dressing

Hatch Chile Ranch Dressing

A tangy, creamy homemade ranch dressing (or dip) flavored with Hatch green chiles.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sour cream or fat-free greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup mayo (I use light)
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 small bunch of chives or 2 dark green onion tops (equal to ~2 Tbsp) chopped
  • Small handful cilantro
  • 2 medium hatch chiles hatch chiles, roasted, seeded, and chopped (directions here)
  • 1/4 salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Up to 1/2 cup milk or buttermilk (optional)

Instructions

  1. Add sour cream/yogurt, mayo, lime, chives, half of the chiles, salt, pepper, and garlic to the blender.
  2. Blend for 10 seconds, add the remaining chiles and chilantro and pulse a couple of times.
  3. Check consistency and blend in milk if desired. (I almost never do this anymore but especially if you're using full-fat mayo and sour cream - the dressing will get pretty thick after being stored the fridge - you can always whisk milk in later.
  4. Store in an air-tight jar in the fridge.

Notes

Yields: ~2 cups

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 5 minutes

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