Last updated: January 20. 2014 4:35PM - 1391 Views
By Lucie R. Willsie Lifestyles Reporter



Brenda Ramsey, owner of Brenda's Kountry Kitchen, has been making cornbread dishes ever since she was a kid. “It's a Southern thing,” she admitted. But instead of just making cornbread, Ramsey uses cornmeal to make a variety of different types of cornbread taste sensations.
Brenda Ramsey, owner of Brenda's Kountry Kitchen, has been making cornbread dishes ever since she was a kid. “It's a Southern thing,” she admitted. But instead of just making cornbread, Ramsey uses cornmeal to make a variety of different types of cornbread taste sensations.
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Simply put, cornbread is a type of quick bread made from cornmeal.


Native Americans used ground corn as an important part of their diet years before Europeans ventured onto this continent.


After settlers arrived, they learned about the recipes using corn and combined them with their own native recipes in the dishes they were used to making out of other grains available in their home countries.


Cornbread became one of the staple dishes, especially in the South, ever since, being used in various ways, in various combinations of ingredients, and for every occasion.


Grits is one.


Corn fritters.


Muffins.


Hush puppies.


Cakes.


Dumplings.


Of course, cornbread


“There are so many ways to cook cornbread,” said Brenda Ramsey, owner of Brenda’s Kountry Kitchen. “There’s no way I could even tell you how many things you can make.”


Cornmeal itself has even been used to make alcoholic drinks, or so it’s been said.


But here, we’re just talking good, down-home, stick-to-the ribs type of food.


Such food dishes became popular, especially starting in the Civil War, not only because cornmeal was versatile and could be used in a variety of ways and dishes, it also was inexpensive.


“They’re just Southern,” Ramsey said. “I’ve grown up with them.”


Ramsey said she started experimenting with different types of cornmeal recipes one day because she had a taste for some fritters. Yep, that’s how this long list of different cornmeal recipes came into being. Her husband, Sid, loved them as well, but he likes them for breakfast with syrup. Brenda Ramsey, however, likes to break them up into a bowl of milk and eat them with a spoon.


“They’re light, but with a slight texture … And, these fritters can go sweet or can go regular,” she explained. In fact, many folks, she has discovered, like to eat cornmeal recipes with pintos or black-eyed peas, soup or stew. However, she added, folks can eat cornbread and other cornmeal recipes with just about anything because they’re nutritious and inexpensive. “Cornmeal recipes are kinda like potatoes, ‘cause you can fix them so many ways.”


“Plus, it’s simple to make,” she added. “It’s special to me because it’s more of a total meal … and it’s filling.”


Her Cornbread Casserole contains two different types of corn.


“That makes it better,” Ramsey said. But then, what brings it over the top is the cheese she adds, both on the inside as well as on top. “I believe the use of two different kinds of cheeses is unique to my recipe … This just makes it taste better than most other casseroles … This is my favorite.”


In addition, Ramsey added, all these recipes are easy to make. Most of them need only the typical ingredients most cooks already have available in their pantry.


“You’ve already got most of your ingredients at home,” she emphasized.


Her Corn Dog Muffin recipe came about because Ramsey didn’t have any wooden sticks and she wanted a corn dog. So, she came up with this stickless version of a typical corn dog.


“These are easy — a lot easier than putting them on a stick — plus, you don’t have to spend money buying the sticks,” she said. “I started to make them for my son when he was little.”


However, for her restaurant, only the cornbread is on Ramsey’s restaurant menu at the moment, she might consider putting some of the recipes in this article on her menu …


“I can’t make all these every day … They’re special dishes I’d make,” she admitted. “… But, if I have enough requests …”


Such as that from Junior Simpson, former lieutenant from the Mount Airy Police Department.


“What I like about them is that (her cornbread) has them all beat,” Simpson said. “… by a country mile … They’re good … I was raised in the country, and I was raised on food like that.”


J.C. Bennett, retired from the hosiery factory, agreed with Simpson.


“I could sit and eat those hush puppies with butter all day long,” he admitted, laughing a little, “but then I’d get as big as a house.”


However, he also seemed to indicate, that it might be worth it.


RECIPES


MEXICAN CORNBREAD


BY BRENDA RAMSEY, OWNER OF BRENDA’S KOUNTRY KITCHEN


INGREDIENTS


1 cup of butter, melted


1 cup of white sugar


4 eggs


1 15-ounce can of creamed corn


4-ounce can of chopped green chili peppers, drained


1/2 cup of Monterey Jack cheese


1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese


1 cup of all-purpose flour


1 cup of yellow cornmeal


4 teaspoons of baking powder


1/4 teaspoon of salt


DIRECTIONS


Preheat the oven to 300-degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch-by-13-inch pan. Mix all the ingredients together and pour it into the pan. Bake for 1 hour or until done.


CORNBREAD CASSEROLE


BY BRENDA RAMSEY


INGREDIENTS


1 15-ounce can of whole corn, drained, reserve the liquid


1 can (14.75 ounce) of creamed corn


2 eggs


1 cup of corn meal


1 cup of sour cream


8 ounces of cheddar cheese, shredded


DIRECTIONS


Mix all of the ingredients together, including the reserve liquid from the whole can of corn, except for the shredded cheese. Pour this mixture into a 9-inch-by-13-inch greased pan. Then sprinkle with the shredded cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.


CORNBREAD HUSH PUPPIES


BY BRENDA RAMSEY


INGREDIENTS


2 quarts of vegetable oil


3 cups of cornmeal


2 teaspoons of baking powder


1 1/2 teaspoons of salt


1 1/2 cups of milk


1/2 cup of water


1 egg, beaten


1 small onion, minced


DIRECTIONS


Preheat the vegetable oil to 365-degrees Fahrenheit. Mix all the ingredients together. Then, shape them into small balls, using approximately 1 Tablespoon of the mixture for each. Gently slide the uncooked hush puppy into the hot oil. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove each hush puppy and drain on a paper towel. Serve hot.


CORN DOG MUFFINS


BY BRENDA RAMSEY


INGREDIENTS


2 (8.5 ounce) packages of cornbread mix


2 Tablespoons of brown sugar


2 eggs


1 1/2 cups of buttermilk


1 cup of grated cheddar cheese


9 hot dogs, cut in half


DIRECTIONS


Preheat the oven to 400-degrees Fahrenheit. Mix all of the ingredients together and spoon it evenly into the individually greased muffin tin openings until 2/3rds full. Then put 1 hot dog half into each muffin. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes until golden brown.


CRACKLING CORNBREAD


BY BRENDA RAMSEY


INGREDIENTS


2 cups of self-rising cornmeal


1 cup of self-rising flour


2 cups of cracklins (pork)


1/2 cup of melted butter


2 eggs


2 cups of buttermilk


DIRECTIONS


Mix all the ingredients together and pour into a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until done and golden brown.


CORN FRITTERS


BY BRENDA RAMSEY


INGREDIENTS


2 cups of stone ground corn meal


1 teaspoon of salt


4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter


1 cup of whole milk


2 Tablespoons of boiling water


DIRECTIONS


Cream the cornmeal and salt together. Add the milk and water to make the mixture moist and firm. Drop spoonfuls of this mixture onto a hot, greased griddle. When brown, turn and cook on the other side.


BASIC CORNBREAD MUFFINS


BY BRENDA RAMSEY


INGREDIENTS


1 cup of cornmeal


1 cup of all-purpose flour


1/3 cup of sugar


2 teaspoons of baking powder


1/2 teaspoon of salt


1 egg, beaten


1/4 cup of oil


1 cup of buttermilk


DIRECTIONS


Preheat the oven to 400-degree Fahrenheit. Mix all ingredients together and spoon into a greased muffin pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until done.


GOLDEN-SWEET CORNBREAD


BY BRENDA RAMSEY


INGREDIENTS


1 cup of all-purpose flour


1 cup of yellow cornmeal


2/3 cup of sugar


1 teaspoon of sugar


3 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder


1 egg


1 cup of buttermilk


1/3 cup of vegetable oil


DIRECTIONS


Preheat the oven to 400-degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-inch-round cake pan. Mix all the ingredients together and pour into the pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until done.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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