Cooking in a small kitchen requires ingenuity and resourcefulness: a small space has limited storage and requires tough choices: like how much heirloom china do you really need?… and severely cutting back on pots, pans, and accessories. It means taking a close look at every day food choices and meal planning―to the point of rating what falls into the category of ‘food staples’.
Such was the case recently when I threw together a lovely le puy lentil soup, replete with carrot and Spanish chorizo. Yes, it was quick to make, but it was also ready and waiting because I had failed to considered what to serve along with the soup. An oops.
I spotted a kid’s size bag of Betty Crocker cornmeal muffin mix… what about that? And then, there was the remnants of a jar of sauerkraut in the fridge; not a bad addition to counteract the questionable sweetness of the boxed mix… and while at it, I grabbed some plain yogurt for a little more tang and further lighten it. I quickly chopped up a handful of vegetables for color and crunch, added a few sliced olives, and finished it all with a dusting of grated cheddar cheese on top. Into the oven it went for a quick bake.
The sauerkraut became an undetectable mystery ingredient that blended with the other vegetables, plus it served to ameliorate the mix’s inherent sweetness and create a little more interest and punch.
You could say I was thinking out of the box―and it was definitely ready in a Jiffy.
Cornbread in a Jiffy
1 small box or package cornmeal muffin mix, Betty Crocker or Jiffy
2 tbsp cornmeal, if available
¼ c yogurt plus enough milk or water to equal a generous 1/3 cup
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp olive oil
1 green onion, trimmed, chopped
1 med jalapeno pepper, seeded, trimmed, chopped
2 tbsp sauerkraut, heaping
12 green olives, sliced
1/3 c cheddar cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray or butter a 7″x5″ (approximate) baking pan or dish.
- In a 1 cup measure, place the yogurt and enough milk or water to equal a generous 1/3 cup and blend well; add the egg and olive oil, and combine well.
- Place the cornmeal muffin mix and additional cornmeal in a medium mixing bowl. Gently stir in the yogurt mixture, sauerkraut, green onion, jalapeno pepper, and about 1/2 of the sliced olives, mixing only to moisten but not over blend.
- Spread the mixture evenly into prepared baking pan or dish. Top with remaining olive slices and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the top is set and cheese is melted. Let cool briefly and cut into 6-8 servings.
- You could say I was thinking out of the box―and it was definitely ready in a Jiffy.