Thursday, July 21, 2016

Recipes by Tennessee Ernie Ford: Famous Corn Bread and Hush Puppies; Pancakes or Waffles; Pea-Picking Cake; Seafood Gumbo

Tennessee Ernie Ford's Famous Corn Bread and Hush Puppies

1 cup yellow cornmeal
2-3 tbsps. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 pinch of baking soda
1 scant tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. melted fat

Sift together dry ingredients in bowl, stir in egg, buttermilk, water and melted fat until dry ingredients are barely moistened. Pour into well-greased baking pan (or skillet or cornstick cast-iron pans). Bake in preheated 450 degrees F. oven about 25 minutes (slightly longer if a browner, crisper cornbread is desired). Serve with fried ham and greens. Serves 6.

Hush Puppies

Prepare batter as given above adding one small grated onion to batter. Drop by spoonfuls in sizzling deep fat; cook quickly about 1 minute (or nice and brown). Remove at once from fat; drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot with fried fish. Makes 20.

Tennessee Ernie Ford's Pancakes or Waffles

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons melted butter

Mix dry ingredients in bowl. Add egg, buttermilk and butter. Stir by hand until blended. The batter will foam up and look fluffy. Add more milk if batter becomes too thick. Makes deliciously light pancakes and waffles. Serves 3 or 4.

Tennessee Ernie Ford's Pea-Picking Cake

1 (18.25 oz.) box yellow or white cake mix
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
4 eggs
1 small can mandarin oranges, undrained (use juice in cake)

Combine cake ingredients and bake in greased and floured 9 x 13-inch pan at 350 degrees F. for 35 to 40 minutes. Test cake doneness with wooden toothpick. Cool cake before frosting.

1 (12 or 13 ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed
1 small or medium can crushed pineapple, save juice to pour over cooled cake
1 (3 ounce) package instant vanilla or coconut pudding (do not make pudding according to package directions)

Combine dry pudding, Cool Whip and crushed pineapple. Before frosting cake, pour pineapple juice over cooled cake.

Tennessee Ernie Ford's Seafood Gumbo

6 slices lean bacon
1 onion, sliced
1/2 green pepper, thinly sliced
2 stalks of celery, cut in bite-size pieces
1/4 tsp. minced garlic puree
1 qt. water
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. crushed fresh basil
2 tsps. minced fresh parsley
One 28-oz. can tomatoes
1 slice cooked ham, diced
1 pkg. frozen okra (chopped)
1 1/2 lbs. shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/2 lb. crab meat (from legs preferably)
2 lobster tails, meat cut in bite-size pieces
1 1/2 tsps. file
Cooked rice

Slowly brown bacon until crisp in heavy stock pot; remove bacon and set aside. Pour off some of the bacon fat. Saute onion, pepper, celery and garlic in bacon drippings until vegetables are limp. Add water, bay leaves, salt, basil, parsley, tomatoes, and ham. Bring to boil, cover, and simmer 1 1/2 hours. One-half hour before serving, add okra, shrimp, crab meat, and lobster, cook over low heat. Just before serving, add file, taste to correct seasonings. Serve over mounds of hot rice. Serves 6.

Thoughts: Gumbo lovers who like a slightly "hotter" version, can add dash or Tabasco and-or cayenne pepper to stock during cooking. File, available in most spice racks in supermarkets or in gourmet shops, becomes ropey if added before and cooked.

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