Friday, February 20, 2009

Best Skillet Cornbread

Sorry to keep you all on the edge of your seats for so long. I finally ended up making cornbread with that lovely cornographic (thx Andrea!) treat from two weeks ago. Why is it so difficult to find an exceptional recipe for moist, slightly sweet cornbread? Everything I dug up in my favorite websites and cookbooks was strictly savory, or crumbly, or both. The Moosewood recipe I usually use is okay if eaten straight out of the oven, but the leftovers are beyond dry. Driven to the brink, I doctored my ho-hum standard recipe within an inch of its life and was pleasantly surprised with the result. It went perfectly with our dinner of magnificent black bass sauteed simply and garnished with scallions, cilantro, and lime juice. The rough texture of the hand-ground cornmeal added a lovely color and texture to the bread, but you won't miss it with regular cornmeal.

The best endorsement: After dinner last night and breakfast this morning, there was only one little piece left for me to photograph!

Best Skillet Cornbread

1 tablespoon butter for the skillet
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour (you can substitute 1/4 cup whole wheat)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk or plain yogurt
2 eggs
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 350˚. Put cast iron skillet on low heat and melt 1T butter. When melted, turn off heat but leave on warm burner.

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another. Stir the wet mixture into the dry just enough to combine. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the center is firm to the touch.

Note: You can also make this in an 8x8" baking dish. Just spray with cooking spray or grease with butter before putting the batter in.


Rob O said...


Kate said...

I'll save you the last piece. It'll still be good in three months, right?

Ed Bruske said...

Kate, we've always had great success with corn bread recipes from Bill Neal, a chef and scholar on Southern food who authored "Biscuits, Spoonbread, and Sweet Potato Pie." The book contains several recipes for corn bread, from the most rustic to an elegant "souffleed" corn bread that we like best. Here's a link. As you can see from the photo, we nearly smothered it in honey, but you could also add sugar or honey to the batter.

Kate said...

Ed, that recipe is exactly what I'm looking for! More eggs, more buttermilk, creamed corn...looks like I've got to make another batch of cornbread this week. It might even be worth the trouble of separating the eggs. Thanks!