chicken gumbo + serrano cheddar cornbread muffins

The weather in Atlanta on Sunday and Monday was rainy, dreary and grey. In order to chase the “blah” away, I decided to make a filling and flavorful gumbo with a side of savory, spicy cornbread muffins. I drew my inspiration from you’ll never guess my Pinterest boards, landing on this recipe from Damn Delicious and this one from MarthaStewart.com.

For the muffins, I accidentally bought cornmeal mix instead of plain cornmeal, so I followed the directions on the package adding 3 diced serrano peppers, shredded cheddar, grated parmesan and salt, pepper and garlic powder straight into the batter.

spicy and cheesy – what else do you need?

For the gumbo, I used only 1 fresh red bell pepper and 1 medium white onion (I had both of these on hand already!). I then added a small bag of frozen onion/pepper mix and a small bag of frozen okra. I only ended up using about 3/4 of the meat from the rotisserie chicken, I didn’t use flour at all (I wanted a clear, thin broth!), AND I threw in a can of RO*TEL Tomatoes and Green Chilies because, well, why not? Finally, I used chicken broth instead of water – I always do this with grits, risottos, soups, etc. It is another way to add flavor, but just make sure you buy low-sodium so you can control the amount of salt in your dish!

quite possibly the easiest soup i’ve ever made.

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mini quiches.

These mini quiches are SO easy y’all. And they are soooo good! If you need to make an inexpensive brunch item that can be easily transported, this is your recipe. I used cheddar cheese, red onion, jalapeño and (shhh) real bacon bits, but you could use whatever you want! Bell pepper, chopped spinach, gruyere, sausage… I think you see the possibilities. I also made something similar to these once before using phyllo cups instead of biscuit dough. These are a bit more filling and less dainty.

Ingredients:

  • 8 pack of large, refrigerated biscuit dough (I used Pillsbury Grands! Biscuit – Butter Tastin’)
  • 9 large eggs
  • 1 small jalapeño, diced (remove seeds for less heat)
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese (or maybe more, y’all know I don’t measure. Especially cheese.)
  • 6 slices of cooked, crumbled bacon (or you could cheat and use Oscar Mayer Real Bacon Bits)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Nonstick spray

Directions:

  • Open biscuits and cut each in half
  • Press half a biscuit into each spot of a lightly greased 12-cup muffin tin (Yes, you will have 4 halves left. Yes, you will have to do a second round of baking. Do not fret.)
  • Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 8 minutes or until dough starts to puff up
  • Remove from oven and smash down the biscuits to form little bowls
  • In a large mixing bowl with a pour spout, beat up your eggs
  • Divide among each cup your onion, jalapeño, bacon bits and cheese (this is not an exact science, just do it till it looks right)
  • Carefully pour eggs over each cup until just full
  • Salt and pepper judiciously
  • Bake in 375-degree oven until eggs look set to desired doneness (about 12-15 minutes)
See? Four leftover halves. It'll be alright.

See how easy that was? Aren’t they pretty

If you save some to heat up later, make sure you do so on half power.

What’s your favorite brunch item?

Hugs and quiches,

The Norcross Patch.

I got to try new recipes, make some amazing food with local ingredients and hang out with some really, really cool people today. Not only that, but the recipes and food we produced will be published with beautiful pictures on the Norcross Patch website!

Geoffrey Graybeal (Graybs!), my former professor whose class is responsible for this blog, had the great idea of gathering his foodie friends to cook a summer meal with ingredients from the local farmer’s market to be featured in the Patch.

On Tuesday, Graybs and Laura (the Norcross Patch Editor) went to the Whistle Stop Farmer’s Market to buy seasonal fare for our collaborative summer meal. Today, we, along with Remy (another of Graybs’ students), got together to cook, photograph and eat our picnic-themed dishes. I had a great time getting to know everyone over delicious food and I can’t wait for you to see it all.

Check out the Norcross Patch website over the next four days to see our recipes featured (mine will be tomorrow!) They will be posted just in time for you to run to Whistle Stop (or a farmer’s market near you) to buy the ingredients and cook up a storm for the fourth of July.

In the meantime, check out the pictures below (taken on my iPhone, so not the best!) for a little preview.