Old and New

“Boiled cornbread for everyone. Get the fire good and hot. Then add 2 cupfulls ground corn with 1 cupfull boiling water and some saleratus. Get some grease good and hot in your pan and pour the bread in the pan. Cook till crisp then turn and crisp again.”
The above recipe comes directly down to me by someone in the Bailey family not yet determined. It is estimated to be around the mid-19th century and I found it written in the margins of a letter addressed to my ancestor, Isaac “Bayley”. Sounds a little dull and I am going to work on it with a little more flavor. In the meantime, try this Yankee original.

Salmon Cornbread Sandwiches
Many of us here in new England have been adorning our salmon loaves with egg sauce for generations. Although delicious in its’ own right, I decided to make a contemporary dish using that idea as a base. This “Salmon Cornbread Sandwich” should be eaten with a fork, unless you don’t mind getting a little messy(I don’t).

4 squares cornbread, roughly 4-5 inches square
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1(7-ounce) can salmon, drained
1/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons mayo
1/2 c. cracker crumbs
2 eggs
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon chives
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cracked pepper
‘Yanked’ Egg Sauce, recipe below

Split cornbread squares horizontally and butter each cut side. Preheat a skillet over medium heat and place cornbread squares into skillet, buttered side down. Grill until crisp, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, keeping skillet handy.
Remove bones and skin from salmon. In a large bowl, combine salmon with next 7 ingredients until well combined. The mixture should be quite dry. If need be, add a tablespoon at a time of cracker crumbs. Taking a ball at a time, shape the salmon mixture to make 4 patties. Evenly sprinkle both sides of each patty with the cracked pepper. Over medium high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter and grill salmon patties until crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Flip and repeat cooking process. Remove from skillet and place one patty on the bottom half of the grilled cornbread. Top with warm Egg Sauce and place the top half of the cornbread to close. Serve warm coleslaw and that, my friends, is good eating.

‘Yanked’ Egg Sauce
What makes this ‘Yanked’? The addition of that sweet crunch of water chestnuts I had left-over from my dinner(which I will tell you about in another post).

1 cup light cream or half-and-half
1 hard-boiled egg, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
1 teaspoon minced water chestnuts, optional
1 teaspoon Dijon style mustard(or yellow prepared)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Place butter in a saucepan over medium heat until melted. Whisk in the flour to make roux, mixing until lump-free. Add remainder of ingredients, except egg, and whisk well. Continue heating until thickened and hot, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat and add egg, gently stirring.