Friday, 22 July 2011
The best cornbread I've ever had is mine...
Alright folks – you have my friend girl Maasiyat over at Inside the Bipolar Mind to thank for this one. She wrote a post called Maters, Taters, Beans and Greens and the first thing I thought of was cornbread. The second thing I thought of is that I believe my cornbread is the best I’ve ever had.
I got the original recipe from my mother’s 1970 something Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. Since then I’ve managed to tweak and perfect it to my own tastes. The result is I have the lightest, fluffiest, butteriest cornbread I’ve ever had. Now, I’m gonna share it with you.
Yeah, I totally just made up the word butteriest. It’s mine too. You can’t have it.
First you’ll need to gather supplies. You will need:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup of sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
1 cup of cornmeal
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 cup of milk
¼ cup of BUTTER FLAVOR shortening (Needs to be at room temperature)
½ stick butter
1-10 inch cast iron skillet. No exceptions! This is the key to amazing cornbread!
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Add ½ stick of butter to your cast iron skillet and place it in the oven.
Next, you sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the cornmeal and blend it well with a fork or whisk. Pour in your two lightly beaten eggs and the milk. Blend it all well with your whisk or fork and then add in the shortening. It’s best to use a whisk for this. It does a much better job of breaking up the shortening, allowing it to blend evenly throughout the mixture.
Once the butter has completely melted in the skillet, add your cornbread batter to the skillet. Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes. The top should be slightly cracked and it should be just beginning to pull away from the sides. If it's completely pulled from the sides, you've over cooked it.
You can either leave it in the skillet and serve after it cools a little or, you can loosen the edges with a knife and flip it out into a plate. For me, the warmer the better; especially since I typically butter the already buttery cornbread and then drizzle it with honey.
Hey! Don’t chastise me! I said it was good. I never said it was good for you!
Sometimes, when I’m feeling adventurous, I add little things to it. A can of corn and a can of diced chilies make a great Mexican cornbread. A handful or two of diced cooked shrimp, a little Cajun seasoning, and some shredded cheese makes a great Cajun cornbread and goes great with my gumbo.
Sorry there are no pics. It is 100 degrees outside. I’m not turning on my oven for anyone. Not even you.
But, I love you. Really I do.
** NOTES: Margarine doesn't work in place of the butter or the shortening. Margarine has water in it so what happens is you end up with a denser finished product. Cornbread should be light and fluffy and almost melt in your mouth. Trust me, I tried it with margarine and it was No Bueno! Also, don't substitute butter where I tell you to use shortening. Again, it's a texture thing. Also, if you have too much butter going on the butter will burn the outside of the cornbread before the inside is done.
If you're not sure, ask me and I'll tell you.