Homemade Bisquick and cornstarch – The Covered Dish
I had the pleasure this week of dining with my good friend, Jim Jeffries, from Northern Platte County, Missouri. Many of you use Jim’s wonderful ‘Black Kettle’ seasoning every day in your kitchens! Jim has added two more wonderful seasonings to his collection. If you haven’t visited him on line be sure and do so.
I’ve been promoting his product since 2008 when the two of us met at a barbeque function. (www.blackkettleseasonings.com)
As we visited over lunch this week Jim and his wife, Debbie, were telling me about their homemade version of bisquick/batter for frying foods in the kitchen. Even though I’m not much of a frying person my ears certainly perked when I heard this scratch version for batter. I’d much rather make it myself than to purchase it in a box.
This breading recipe is great for chicken, fish, tenderloins, and onion rings. I’m sure you’ll also find many additional uses. If you don’t have some of Jim’s seasonings at home consider substituting with your favorite all-purpose seasoning salts. Remember that Jim’s seasoning uses a smoky undertone.
Jim’s Breading Mix
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup cornmeal, white or yellow is fine
2/3 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon Lucinda’s Smoky Blend
Jim gives the following example for his breading process: Using an onion ring dip it first in the dry breading mix, then into an egg/milk wash then return to the dry breading one more time before placing it into the hot oil.
One of the things that make this mix so nice is the use of the cornstarch. What does the cornstarch do for the breading? Cornstarch is a very fine form of flour. It’s from the endosperm (inner part) of the corn kernel. It is very fine in texture, rendering a very smooth coating. It’s often used in Tempura batters where it’s mixed with very cold water for a light oriental batter. You can use equal amounts of arrow root, potato starch or tapioca when using cornstarch as a thickening agent in a sauce.
Another interesting thing I found is your choice of frying oil can also make a difference according to the Asian populations. When they use a wet tempura batter with cornstarch as a main ingredient they like to fry in sesame oil. Frying in the sesame oil results in an even lighter batter. (Sesame Oil is often found in the Asian food section of your grocery store.)
Play around with this wonderful batter and consider making a batch or two just to have on hand. Remember to keep it in a cool dark place, sealed in a tight container. It won’t be but a few weeks and you’ll have fresh zucchini to try in this lovely scratch batter. Oh wait, Vidalia onions are here. That’s it; I’m making homemade onion rings this week!
Some of my cruise friends were in town this week for a visit and it was great reminiscing about our winter cruise. Food and dining was also at the top of the list. Did we dine out? Nope, we chose a soup, salad, and dessert fare at their condo. I think I enjoyed myself more than I would with a huge dinner of steaks and potatoes! The prep was simple and we had more time to visit.
Keep heading for Branson everyone, we’ve recovered from the storms in February and we’re still the best family vacation spot in the Midwest!
Simply yours, The Covered Dish.