No yeast? Buttermilk cornbread is an easy alternative

EVELYN CAIRNSCULINARY CAPERS

When I couldn’t buy a loaf of bread last month because the stores were sold out, I thought to myself, “No problem. I can use my bread machine that’s been collecting  dust in the basement for the last the 20 years.”

Problem: I had forgotten that the recipes in the book that came with the bread machine call for powdered  milk and yeast, and the stores were also sold out of both. 

(According to the April 24 edition of the Wall Street Journal, sales of yeast have increased 410 percent , and  powdered milk, 180 percent since the coronavirus crisis. In  addition, the price of  baking powder is up 180 percent; rice, 106 percent; pasta, 104 percent; soup, 100 percent; and frozen pizza, 84 percent. No wonder!)

 I always have a good supply of cornmeal on hand, so at least I could bake cornbread. I found a   recipe online at Café Delights.com  that is easier and equally as delicious as Once Upon a Chef Jennifer Segal’s  Corn Muffins  (the muffin recipe was published in my  February 2019 Culinary Capers  column.  I enjoyed the cornbread recipe, authored by Katrina,    with  low-cal Curried Shrimp and Butternut Soup, another quickie recipe. I’ve made  Katrina’s recipe twice and like it best using white granulated sugar  instead of brown sugar. 

The soup contains only 180 calories (10 from fat, 1 g. total fat, 9 g. saturated fat and 95 mg. cholesterol). 

Because I couldn’t find 8-ounce packages of frozen pureed squash, I puréed frozen butternut cubes  in my food processor. An immersion blender would have worked even better. The soup was ready to eat  in less than a half hour. 

I suggest adding only half the amount of curry and tasting the soup before adding more. Also, be sure the shrimp have no tails, or remove them.

EASY BUTTERMILK CORNBREAD

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

¼ cup light brown sugar or white granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼  teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk (shake before measuring)

¼ cup honey

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (or 1/3 cup cooking oil)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. and position a  rack in the middle. Lightly grease a 9-inch square baking pan with butter. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, honey and eggs. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the buttermilk mixture.  Combine the two mixtures, mixing well, then add the slightly cooled butter or the cooking oil. Mix until just combined. Don’t overmix. Add to the pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the cornbread begins to brown and a toothpick  comes out clean.  

CURRIED BUTTERMILK AND SHRIMP SOUP

2 8-ounce packages  frozen pureed buttermilk squash  (may be labeled cooked squash or cooked winter squash)

12-ounce can evaporated fat-free milk (I used 2 percent)

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

8 ounces cooked shrimp

1 tablespoon curry powder (taste soup while adding in small amounts)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2 teaspoons flaked coconut

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring squash and milk to a boil. Reduce  heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Add  sugar and pumpkin pie spice and continue to simmer 5 minutes. Add shrimp, curry powder, salt and pepper and cook 1 more minute. Add the coconut and ladle into individual bowls and top with equal portions of the shrimp.

  (Do you need a special recipe, or do you have a favorite recipe or cooking tip you would like to share with Culinary Capers readers? Please email your requests, questions or culinary contributions to Evycairns@aol.com. Please include your phone number.)

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