Friday, October 22, 2010

Coconut Cornbread

This is my first entry in Food Renegade's Fight Back Fridays! Enjoy! : )

..last bite..

Fresh out of the oven, this cornbread deserves an ode. It is every bit worthy of art-photography. Even for my devoted WAPF-loving taste, this cornbread ~ fried in both lard and coconut oil ~ feels very rich if not decadent. As much as I wanted to eat the whole pan, I could only eat a piece (..or two..). And that is the beauty of nutrient-dense foods: you can only eat so much of even the most delicious meals because they actually satisfy. You can, of course, make this vegetarian by skipping the lard. But don't skimp on the fat! Add extra coconut oil, or butter.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet in the oven at 450.
Melt in the skillet:
2 tbsp+ lard
2 tbsp+ coconut oil

Dry ingredients:
1 3/4 cup cornflour* ~ half blue, half yellow, just for fun
1 tbsp Sucanat
about a cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp seasalt
Wet ingredients:
1 cup raw whole milk
1 cup whole yogurt
3 eggs

Whisk the eggs and then combine with the dairy. Pour wet ingredients into dry and blend thoroughly. Pour batter into hot hot skillet ~ it will sizzle as it makes contact with the hot fat! Be prepared! Bake till golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean ~ maybe 20 minutes.

This cornbread is so rich, you might not even need to spread it with butter...
But why take the risk? ; )

* I didn't nixtamalize the cornflour for this recipe, but I wanna try it the next time; I finally found some pickling lime in the canning section of Ace Hardware. I think I'd need to reduce the liquid slightly after nixtamalizing.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Scrambled Eggs, or: Know Your Farmers

Large-scale "Organic" companies are taking advantage of our good intentions and misinformation. The Cornucopia Institute has released Scrambled Eggs, a thorough report on their investigation of "Organic" egg company practices. Though it's worth reading, Food Renegade gives a summary. If Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma didn't hit this lesson home to me when I read it years ago, this report is a painful reminder: it is absolutely essential to know the people who raise the food you eat. The large-scale industrial food system doesn't work. The environment, animals, workers, neighbors of industrial operations, and finally, the person at the end of the fork, all suffer. And while large-scale "Organic" is better than conventional agriculture, it still doesn't get you what you think you're paying for. Buying food from a CSA or at a Farmers' Market costs more. But it's an up-front cost ~ the actual value of food worth growing, raising, and eating.
If you don't raise hens yourself (which I recommend! what fun!), buy eggs from a farmer you know and trust. It's an investment in health. Since moving to Sacramento, we're getting eggs from St. John's Family Farm. If you are unfamiliar with farmers in your area, Local Harvest is a great site to find them.
As fresh as they get! Eggs from our backyard girls ~
with access to dirt, bugs,
and as much sunlight as the Bay Area has to offer,
fed whole organic grains (no soy), kitchen scraps,
clover and kale (in the dry season).