In our continuing efforts to help Casual Kitchen's readers increase their powers in the kitchen, I'd like return to the concept of recipe modification and share a list of possible modifications to our cornbread recipe from the other day.
One of the most useful skills a cook can have is the ability to confidently modify a recipe. It enables you to improve recipes, change them to your liking, or if necessary, adjust them to match the ingredients you already have in your pantry. We've covered many of the concepts and rules behind modifying recipes in a three part series some time ago. If you're interested in more detail on this subject, please have a look.
When you make modifications to a recipe, there are elements of both art and science involved. That's why this discipline is, at least in my opinion, one of cooking's most unique skills. And cornbread is a simple and basic food that makes for a perfect blank slate for interesting modifications.
One reminder: whenever you make modifications to baked foods, there are certain relationships that you need to keep constant. The ratio of of dry ingredients to liquid ingredients, and the ratio of leavening agents to everything else, must be kept roughly the same. You can't arbitrarily add an extra egg to this recipe, or add more milk or butter, unless you increase the other ingredients proportionally. Just be mindful of this rule when you try baking modifications of you own.
That said, let's share a list of potential modifications that could really add some pizazz to what is ordinarily a simple and basic dish. Which of these sound most interesting to you?
1) Add a teaspoon (or more!) of cayenne pepper to the batter for a slight spicy kick.
2) Add finely minced jalapeño peppers (perhaps two tablespoons, more or less).
3) Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of whole corn kernels to the batter.
4) Add a small amount (perhaps 1/4 cup) of other fruits to the batter, such as blueberries, strawberries, finely chopped apple pieces, dried fruits, etc.
5) Use wheat flour (we've tried this modification and suggest replacing half of the white flour with wheat flour, and then adding an extra 1/4 cup of milk to the batter to keep the batter texture consistant).
6) Add extra sugar to the batter for a sweeter cornbread (5-6 tablespoons rather than 4).
7) Add both extra sugar and minced jalapenos for a spicy/sweet cornbread (it may sound like a strange taste combination, but it really works)
8) Add a 1/2 cup of grated cheddar, or other mild cheese, to the batter.
9) Add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the batter.
Obviously this is far from an exhaustive list--what are possible modifications that I haven't mentioned that you'd like to try?
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The Granola Blogroll: The Ultimate Authority on Great Granola Recipes
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