Monday, November 22, 2010

Cornbread Casserole

The word "casserole" doesn't generally incite much enthusiasm (and this particular one certainly isn't much to look at), but I think casseroles are underrated.    No, they're not glamorous, but they are comforting and filling and provide a good excuse to turn on the oven and warm up the house.  I'm especially partial to casseroles involving cornbread.  This one is a riff on biscuits and gravy, but with cornbread batter instead of biscuit dough.

The ingredients
2 batches cornbread batter (I used Dana Sly's Blue Ribbon Cornbread recipe)
Herbs and spices (I suggest thyme, sage, onion powder, and black pepper)
olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
14 oz. veggie sausage (hereafter referred to as soysage&mdashI used Lightlife Gimme Lean)
1 green pepper, chopped
1-1.5 cups greens, thinly sliced (I used a combination of kale and onion greens)
2 T margarine
1 T flour
1.5 cups vegetable broth or soy milk

The process

  1. Heat a little olive oil in a large skillet, and fry onions over medium-high heat until softened.  Add garlic and soysage, and continue to cook, stirring, until sausage browns.
  2. Meanwhile, make a roux: melt margarine in a small skillet, whisk in flour, and cook about 2 minutes.  Add  half the broth or soymilk to the roux, then add the roux to the soysage.  Stir in greens and green pepper, add remaining broth, and continue to cook about 2-3 more minutes.
  3. Remove soysage mixture from heat and make cornbread batter.  Stir desired herbs into the batter.  
  4. Generously oil a 9x13 baking dish.  Pour half the batter in the bottom of the pan, spread soysage mixture over it, then top with remaining cornbread batter.  Bake at 425 for about 20-25 minutes, or until cornbread is cooked through.
By the way, this is absolutely fantastic reheated for breakfast the next day.

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