Wow. Tonight's dinner was special and awesome. I consoled myself for missing tonight's firemen's parade at the 67th Annual Preston County Buckwheat Festival by making a fully-cooked-just-heat-and-eat glazed ham with from-scratch summer squash cornbread and sweet potato, dried cherry, Madras curry and bleu cheese dressing. (That's dressing as in a casserole-style side dish that can also be used to stuff turkeys and game hens, not salad dressing.)
I'll get right to the recipes and photos. Yum!
SQUASH CORN BREAD
From Taste of Home's Simple & Delicious Sept./Oct. 2008
This recipe makes two -- one to eat now and one to freeze. If you're trying it for the first time, you can halve the ingredients make just one, as I did. I like that it packs in extra nutrition and uses up some summer squash.
5 medium yellow summer squash (about 2 pounds), chopped
2 packages (8 1/2 ounces each) cornbread/muffin mix, such as Jiffy
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup 4 percent cottage cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Place squash in a steamer basket; place in a large saucepan over 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil, cover and steam for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Drain and squeeze dry.
In a large bowl, combine cornbread mixes and eggs. Fold in squash, cheeses, onion, salt and pepper.
Pour into two 8-inch square baking pans coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Serve warm or cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Wrap in foil and freeze for up to 3 months. To use frozen bread: Thaw at room temperature. Serve warm. Yield: 2 dozen squares.
SWEET POTATO, DRIED CHERRY, MADRAS CURRY AND BLEU CHEESE DRESSING/STUFFING
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
2 slices hardwood smoked bacon, julienned
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Madras curry powder (from McCormick's Gourmet Collection)
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup diced green onions
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, onion, bell pepper, bacon, olive oil and curry powder. Pour mixture into an ovenproof dish, cover with foil and bake until sweet potatoes are tender, up to 90 minutes (Check at one hour or even 45 minutes). Remove from oven and let cool about 30 minutes.
Once mixture has cooled, add the dried cherries, bleu cheese, orange juice, green onions, salt and pepper and mix until well incorporated.
Makes 4 to 6 side-dish servings. Good with steak or pork. Can also be used to stuff quail, Cornish hens, chicken or turkey. If used as stuffing, decrease bake time to 50 minutes.