Recipes from A Homemade Life

By Molly Wizenberg

Custard-Filled Corn Bread

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably medium ground
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk (not low fat or nonfat)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons distilled vinegar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Pure maple syrup, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter an 8-inch or 9-inch round pan. Put the buttered dish in the oven to warm while you make the batter.

In a large, microwavable bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. Cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and baking soda.

When the butter has cooled a bit, add the eggs and whisk to blend well. Then add the sugar, salt, milk and vinegar and whisk well again. Whisking constantly, add the flour mixture. Mix until the batter is smooth and no lumps are visible.

Remove the heated pan from the oven and pour in the batter. Then pour the cream into the center of the batter. Do not stir. Carefully slide the pan back into the oven, taking care not to knock it, and bake until golden brown on top, 50 to 60 minutes. Serve warm, with maple syrup.

Cider-Glazed Salmon, or Salmon Gelee a la Louis XIV

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 medium shallot, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 2 cups fresh unfiltered apple cider
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillet
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

In a large, heavy skillet, combine the butter, shallot and cider. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for five minutes, then remove and discard the shallot.

Place the fillets gently in the pan. Spoon a bit of the liquid over them, so that their tops begin to cook. Cover and simmer very gently. The fillets will cook for eight to 10 minutes per inch of thickness. To test for doneness, make a small slit with a paring knife in the thickest part of the fillet; all but the very center of each piece should be opaque. (It will keep cooking after you pull it from the heat.) Transfer the cooked salmon to a platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.

To prepare the glaze, raise the heat under the pan to medium-high, add a pinch of salt, and simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid is reduced by about two-thirds. It should be slightly thickened and should just cover the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and add the cream. Stir well to combine. Boil, stirring frequently, for a few minutes, until the mixture darkens to a pale, golden caramel — like those Brach’s Milk Maid caramel candies, if that helps — and is reduced by one-third to one-half.

Place the salmon fillets on four plates and top each with a spoonful of sauce. It should coat them like a thin, loose glaze. Serve immediately. Note: If you’d like to make this for only two people, halve the amount of salmon, but not the sauce quantities.

Red Cabbage Salad with Lemon and Black Pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon pressed garlic
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds red cabbage
  • 1/4 cub finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Freshly ground black pepper

First, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Set aside while you prepare the cabbage.

Pull away any bruised leaves from the outside of the cabbage, and trim its root end to remove any dirt. Cut the cabbage into quarters. Working with one quarter at a time and using a large, sharp knife, slice the cabbage as thinly as you possibly can, as though for coleslaw. Slicing it very thinly is crucial; if you slice it too coarsely, it won’t absorb the dressing as well. Ideally, no sliver should be thicker than 1/4 inch. Discard the white cores.

In a large serving bowl, toss the cabbage with a large spoonful or two of the dressing. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and toss to distribute evenly. Taste, and add dressing as needed. Season generously with pepper and serve. Yield: Four servings, as a first course or side dish.