Friday, April 23, 2010



I have a small confession to make. *Deep breath* I don't really like traditional Texan cornbread. You know, the kind that's made entirely with cornmeal and has like one teaspoon of sugar, if that? The kind made in a cast iron pan with a healthy slather of bacon grease? Yeah, that kind. It turns out that I'm a California girl to the tips of my toes and I need the sweet cushioning of flour and sugar, and the thought of bacon grease scares me more than just a little. Look, we all have our faults, ok? Count this as one of mine. You still love me, right?


If you're like me, this cornbread is the recipe for you. It's soft, moist and yet sturdy enough to cut into squares - though I do advise you to make those squares larger rather than smaller; it's just "corny" enough, especially with the addition of sweet corn kernels; and its sweetness is there, but just hanging out in the background, making this cornbread a perfect vehicle to sweep up some tangy sauce at a summer BBQ.


Last but not least, this recipe's beguiling simplicity (a five minute mixing effort with a wooden spoon) creates a platform for ideas to run free. If you're a real Texan, you might want to turn away now, because I know this will hurt you. I dreamed of adding roasted and chopped poblano peppers to the batter, of spicing it up with jalapenos or throwing in little delicious salty nuggets of pancetta, and maybe, just maybe swirling in some softened goat cheese. I don't know what ideas I will come up with for a second rendition of this cornbread - all I know is that I'm making a double batch and not looking back.


Cathy Justice's Best of Show Blue Ribbon Cornbread
via Dorie Greenspan

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/16 teaspoon salt (I used 1/2 tsp.)
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup canola oil
1 cup sweet corn kernels

Heat oven to 425F and prepare an 8x8 baking pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl (I used a measuring cup), whisk together all the wet ingredients until smooth. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or a spatula only until the dry ingredients are moistened. Batter will be lumpy, but that's ok. Gently stir in corn kernels.

Pour out into the baking pan and bake for 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.


Rambling Tart said...

Mmm, I know what you mean, Irene. I like my cornbread with "bits" in it - swirls of cheese, creamed corn, green chilies - the works! This looks grand! :-)

elra said...

Hi Irene,
where have you been???? Hope everything is well.

I never really made cornbread, not sure why. Maybe it's the texture, or the way it tastes? I should probably try it one day.

El said...

I agree. I definitely like it a bit more fluffy. This looks wonderful.

Irene said...

Hi Elra! I've been here and I'm doing well, thank you for asking! Life has just been extremely hectic, with work, family and other things going on that have taken up most of my time, so the blog had to take a backseat for a while. I never liked cornbread until I tried the "California" version that's a bit sweeter and not made up wholly of cornmeal (like this recipe), so maybe you will like this one. My personal favorite is to serve it with grilled chicken, grilled veggies and rice (what we actually did tonight - yum). :) I hope you are doing well too! Looking forward to more chocolate from you, lady.

Fiona said...

Even though not a Californian, I, too, like my corn bread a little less "corny". This version seems to fit the bill, it looks fluffy and the kernels will add both texture and moisture, yum! Great to see you blogging again, Irene!

The Caked Crusader said...

That looks sooooooo good! I like cornbread when it's served warm.

Manggy said...

Oh, yeah, totally. I think people would say this is something akin to corn muffins in cornbread form. Which is kind of weird because it's just arbitrary labels. But I love this version MUCH better (don't tell a texan!).

Ash said...

now that is what you call cornbread!!
looks so good!

Junglefrog said...

I am certainly not scared of bacon grease...:) but this just looks beautiful and delicious. Will definitely keep this for future bbq adventures!

Carat said...

I have to admit I'm a cast iron cornbread Texas girl, the family recipe usually skips the sugar and has been made with everything savory under the sun chucked into it at some point or another. I'm going to have to try this recipe and see how it compares. Also: if you're going to go the jalapeno route I would recommend the addition of cheese.