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Butcher’s block - Jan. 1, 2014

Happy New Year!! 2013 is now behind us and a fresh 2014 lies ahead. I love the turn of the year, it brings with it a new energy, new hopes, and dreams for a year better than the one before. I’ve never been one to make the traditional New Year’s resolutions; I believe you’re just setting yourself up for disappointment, but for some reason I did for 2014 so we shall see! So be sure to eat those black eyed peas and collard greens, and here are two more New Years staples that are a must have on the dinner table. Cheers to 2014!

Sweet Cornbread

1 cup flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2/3 cup white sugar

3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1 cup milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 9 inch round baking pan, or can use muffin tin. In large bowl combine all dry ingredients and then begin to stir in egg, milk, and oil. Pour batter into dish and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Since oven times often vary simply put toothpick in middle of cornbread and if it comes out clean cornbread is ready.

Candied Pork Jowl

Pork jowl

Brown sugar

Maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350-400 degrees. The hotter the oven, the crisper the jowl. Slice jowl into 1/4 inch slices and lay on parchment lined cookie sheet. Lay at least 1/2 inch apart. Drizzle jowls with brown sugar and cover with another piece of parchment paper. Place an empty baking pan with raw beans on top of bacon. You can use anything that weighs approximately 2-3 pounds and is oven safe; this helps to cook fat out of jowl. Roast jowl for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and take off baking pan and top layer of parchment paper. Drizzle with maple syrup and place back in oven for several minutes, for a sweet candied hog jowl bacon.