May 26, 2010

Scrapple and scrappin'

So, you know after my whiney post from yesterday about how busy I am, I realized that I might not have time to do photo walk-thrus of recipes, but I DO have time to talk! Jeesh >sheepish grin<
So, this weekend I got to talk with some people about different comfort foods and the conversation turned to scrapple.
If you don't know what scrapple is, well, that's a subject up to debate, and there are sites dedicated to it. Some say that it is called scrapple because you use the "scraps" from hog butchering, but I know I've read other theories on that, but honestly, can't remember what they are. The scraps theory works for me. hehe
Anyway, since I don't butcher piggies, I don't have scraps laying around. So, this is grocery store scrapple, but it is still economical and delicious. Some scrapple recipes also use buckwheat flour, but I've always made mine with cornmeal and flour, so that, dear readers, is what I'll pass on to you.

1.5 cup corn meal
3/4 cup flour
1 lb bulk sausage
1 lb chicken livers or pork liver if you want to be über authentic, or leave it out if you're a wimp
About 2 qts of chicken broth/broth and water mix
spices: black & red pepper, sage, thyme, & salt

So, what you are going to do is cook the meat, and you can fry it, or simmer it in the water or broth. It needs to be chopped into very small pieces regardless. Bring the liquid to a boil, turn the heat down and add the cornmeal and flour. Stir.
What you are looking for at this point is for the cornmeal to thicken. It can take 15 -30 minutes to achieve this altered state. You will know it when it happens. It will also start to hold its "shape", sort of like whipped cream does, when dropped from the spoon into the pot. This is important, because scrapple needs to gel. When the pot has changed texture from soup to, well, like cream of wheat cereal, then it's ready to turn out.
Turn out into a greased loaf pan. This recipe will most likely give you two loaves. Let cool.

How do I eat scrapple? Well, after the scrapple cools, it is now a bonafide solid loaf. Turn it out, slice it, dredge it in a little flour and pan-fry it until golden on both sides.
My preferred method then is to eat with maple syrup. This is not everyone's way, however, and some use ketchup, butter, applesauce, fried apples, or plain with eggs. Honestly, that part is up to you.

Don't turn your nose up at this oft-maligned peasant food. It is really tasty. Pass me the big slice of Americana -with syrup, please.

May 25, 2010

Life eats my time

This has been a bad blogging year. Renovating a hundred year-old house, full time college student and full-time Mom extraordinaire- sorry folks, but the foodiness is suffering.
Sometimes I think it's all I can do to put healthful and tasty food on the table for my kids- sometimes, when I'm really tired, I even get tempted to give in to their childish demands of hot dogs and mac n'cheese >shudder<.
I still think about this blog, and when my kitchen is renovated, and my life is more my own I'll get cooking, but just wanted to let people know I was still alive and kicking :)
This new house has a grape-vine. Never had access to fresh grape leaves before....hmmmmm.