By CAROL MIGHTON HADDIX
By starting with a very hot skillet (cast-iron is best for this), you can speed up the baking of this simple Southern dish. The pudding is similar to spoon bread and is quite filling, so you'll need only to add a vegetable and salad to make it a complete meal.
We've suggested andouille sausage here, but any of your favorite sausages can be used, including plain old breakfast sausages.
Cornmeal pudding with andouille sausages
Sliced tomatoes with mustard vinaigrette
Peaches with vanilla yogurt
Beer or lemonade
Make sure the oven is heated fully to 425 degrees.
Make sure to heat the oil in the skillet almost to the smoking stage before adding the batter.
CORNMEAL PUDDING WITH ANDOUILLE SAUSAGES
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 package (1 pound) andouille or other sausage, chopped
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
3/4 cup each: cornmeal, flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 stick ( 1/4 cup) butter, melted
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil in an oven-safe 10-inch skillet; add sausage, onions and bell pepper. Cook, stirring, until sausage is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove sausage and vegetables to a plate; set aside. Remove skillet from heat; drain off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil.
Meanwhile, mix cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.
Stir in eggs, milk and melted butter; mix until just moistened. Stir in sausage, bell pepper and green onions.
Reheat oil in skillet over high heat until very hot; carefully pour in the cornmeal mixture. Bake until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Spoon out onto plates.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 395 calories, 53 percent of calories from fat, 23 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 125 mg cholesterol, 31 g carbohydrates, 15 g protein, 904 mg sodium, 2 g fiber
Adapted from a recipe in "Joy of Cooking."