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.