Exploring worldly cuisines
School is back in session and a new course has begun on world cuisines. I’m most excited about this new 12-week course. We’ll be highlighting different countries each week. Not only will we be learning about a variety of dishes but we’ll be educated about the history of the countries, too. I can’t wait!
America the beautiful
This first week, we’re making dishes from my country tis of thee- the United States. We’re highlighting cornbread. Mmm! It’s one of my favorite comfort food.
A history lesson
1This week, we learned that one of the three staple crops of the Native American population is corn. This produced corn pone and hominy, used to make grits. They’re both variations of traditional Native American dishes, which were originally called apones and uskatahomen in Powhatan.
2Corn is referred to as one of the “three sisters.” Her other two siblings are beans and squash. It has been stated that corn was protected from insects and rodents. The beans grew up the cornstalks and prevented the rodents from eating the corn. Lastly, the squash kept the bugs away from the corn.
3When the English arrived on the East Coast in the 17th century, they experienced difficulty growing their staple crops. They immediately recognized that cornmeal could be used for practically everything. They weren’t able to grow wheat, so they began making breads with rye and cornmeal. Hasty pudding, which is a staple of the region similar to Italian polenta, consists of corn ground that is made into a porridge.
Corn is such an abundant crop, especially in my household. My family loves corn. We have corn with our meals several times a week. We can’t get enough of it! It pairs so well with our dishes.
- 5 oz pastry flour, sifted
- 5 oz cornmeal, sifted
- 4 oz sugar, sifted
- ½ oz baking powder, sifted
- ¼ oz Kosher salt, sifted
- 1 egg, beaten
- 8 oz whole milk
- ½ oz honey
- 3 oz melted vegetable shortening (or melted butter)
- Non-stick spray
- Food scale
- Mixing bowls/cups/spoons for mise en place ingredients
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Glass pan
- Sanitize kitchen (sink, countertops, stovetop/oven, cupboard handles, phone, computer, and recipe books).
- Mise en place ingredients.
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
- Sift dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- Beat the egg.
- Combine wet ingredients in another mixing bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.
- Spray non-stick spray in a glass pan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the toothpick that is inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cornbread before slicing and serving.
Reference1,2,3: August Escoffier School of Culinary Arts: Week 1 Lesson, January 2022.