Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Hot Mess : Cornbread Stacked Salad

That's right. This dish is a hot mess and I know it (unlike half the hot messes out there).
Regardless, this is one unique and tasty hot mess. 

Let's jump in so I can explain what you're looking at.

First, you start with a thick(ish) slice of incredibly moist, sweet, sharp cheddar cornbread.

Next, a few large butter lettuce leaves.

Then, a scoop of home pickled red onion.

A sprinkling of fried chicken sausage.

Followed by, a perfectly poached egg.

Drizzled with a homemade spicy, creamy, chive dressing.

All finished off with a sprinkling of cornbread 'sprinkles'. 

Admittedly, I'm not sure this dish is up everyones alley, it was in fact a bit of an experiment. In the end I liked it, liked not Loved (notice the use of a capital L), but it could easily be tweaked. Perhaps substituting the chicken sausage for some deliciously fatty, salty pulled pork (pork and cornbread a natural pair), or the chive dressing for, well, I'm not entirely sure because hollandaise or anything in the same family would end up being far too rich with the cornbread I think. Yet, tweaked it could be. Ultimately, the flavors and textures worked really well. Soft slightly sweet cornbread with bits of sharp cheddar and pops of fresh corn kernels throughout. Crunchy light butter lettuce. Incredibly tangy red onions pickled in cider vinegar with thyme and honey. Salty bits of seasoned chicken sausage. Poached eggs with runny yolks that mixed beautifully with all of the other elements. Finally a creamy, spicy sauce to top it all off. Different, incredibly colorful, and a bit whimisical. A dish whose colors and flavors, for some reason, reminded me of our newly Spring season. All in all,  not bad for a weeknight dinner!

Chive Dressing

1/2 cup creme fraiche
juice from one small lemon
1/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons fresh chive, chopped
1/2 teaspoon your favorite hot sauce
a pinch of cayenne


1. In a small bowl whisk creme fraiche and lemon juice together.
2. Place the creme fraiche mixture in a standard jar, add the remaining ingredients, place the lid on the jar and shake vigorously.

Thus far, my favorite cornbread recipe.

Pickled Red Onions
(adapted from a Molly Wizenberg Bon Appetit Recipe)

1 small red onion quartered and sliced very thin (think caramelized onion)
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey
1/4 cup sugar
3 sprigs of thyme
pinch of chili pepper flakes


1. Pour cider vinegar, honey, sugar, thyme, and pepper flakes into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat for about 5 minutes (to dissolve honey and sugar).
2. Place onions in a jar.
3. Pour hot brining liquid over onions, cover, and leave at room temperature for 5 minutes. Uncover, and allow the mixture to come to room temperature.
4. Screw lid onto jar, and chill in the refrigerator for up to ten days.


Anonymous said...

Mallory this looks amazing. I love a good messy meal.

Rambling Tart said...

I like hot messes like this! They're so quirky and unexpected. :-) I think pulled pork would be a fantastic addition for sure. :-)

Indu said...

Messy or not, it sure looks good....

Anne-Marie @ 10 Rooms said...

Oh my gosh - I am so trying this one - thanks!