SKILLET CORNBREAD (first inspired by Cook's Illustrated)
Good results every time–some flexibility as to ingredients; use whatever is in season. Just keep proportions the same and exchange different veggies or peppers or cheeses. Goes perfectly with pork entrees, chili, and barbeque.
To make this recipe as muffins, try to find a cast iron muffin pan so it can be preheated and hold the heat. Proceed with recipe as stated except pan up into preheated muffin pans. Bake 15-20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.
It looks long–lots of ingredients–but it is soooo worth it!
1¾ cups cornmeal
- ½ cup All Purpose flour
- 1½ tablespoon sugar
- ¾ teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon EVOO
- 1 tablespoon shallots
- 1 tablespoon minced piquillo pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh raw or frozen corn, optional
- 2 teaspoons minced chive
- ¾ cup boiling water
- 1¼ cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1 cup shredded cheese (Manchego, Mozzarella, Cheddar, Swiss all work)*
Place ½ cup cornmeal into a small bowl and set aside; meanwhile place remaining cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda together in another bowl; set aside. Saute shallots, minced pepper and corn in oil; add chive. Cool & reserve.
Pour boiling water slowly into first reserved cornmeal, whisking to form a paste; whisk in buttermilk, whisking to break up lumps; continue whisking and add eggs. Stir in dry ingredients just until wet. Don't over mix.Place butter in skillet, melt and when sizzles, add shallots, peppers, corn, and cumin, cayenne. Saute until aromatic and pour int wet batter. Fold in cheeses and chive. Pour into pre-heated greased cast iron skillet (8 INCH) and place in preheated 425ºF. Serve with HONEY BUTTER.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown and bread springs back when touched; brush with honey-butter if desired, cool on rack 10 minutes before removing. Cut into wedges for serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*choose mozzarella for mild results; sharp cheddar for saltier flavor and Swiss for nuttier flavor. If using Mozzarella, you may want to add crunchy salt to top of baked bread after adding honey butter just before service.
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, softened but not melted
2 tablespoons honey
Flaky Sea salt, optional; coriander, optional
Whip butter with a paddle until light and fluffy; slowly drizzle in honey and continue whipping until incorporated; add pinch or two of ground coriander or other spice if using. Reserve in refrigerator until needed. Bring to room temperature and spread on top of hot cornbread. For service, sprinkle with flaky sea salt over honey butter, if desired. Or, serve honey butter on the side.