With all due respect to one of our readers, I love playing with cornbread. Adding flavors into the corn bread, making it a bit more savory, or a bit more sweet, I just like seeking out what cornbread can do.
Heck, that’s what led us into the cornmeal biscotti.
So, when it came to thinking of a grain/bread dish that anyone, any non-baker, non-cook could make that would match up to this menu, cornbread was the first thing that came to my mind.
But not just any cornbread, I immediately thought of the cornbread we get at Joule, a preserved garlic and cheese topped cornbread that takes 20 minutes from when you order it.
Going back, though, I wanted the non-bakers to know that you can, in fact, easily bake a bread. I consistently call myself a non-baker, despite the fact that I regularly make biscotti and cornbread.
There is a downside to cornbread, and it goes back to my apologies to the reader who knows who she is. Cornbread is personal. I have a rule where I never recommend a pizza place, a chili place or a BBQ place. Sure, I’ll say what I like, but I won’t say ‘You must try….’ because people have religions based around these three foods, and that religion is such a personal choice that I’d never try to suggest what they might like. Cornbread is very close to that. Some want moist, some want dry, some want sweet, some want savory, some want grainy, some want chunks of corn kernels.
I’m not about to say that this recipe is the be-all, end-all recipe. Nor will I say that Joule’s cornbread, incredible tho it is, is something you must get. I will say it is, to me, beyond incredible and I’ll always pick it if I can.
And about that Joule cornbread.
We got the recipe for it, but we aren’t using it here. This recipe is sort of a mix between their recipe and the recipe from the Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook, with a little home grown changes.
So, what do we need for this recipe?
- 8-10 inch cast iron skillet.
- A small sauce pan.
- A sharp knife.
- A teaspoon.
- A tablespoon.
- A half cup measure.
- A third cup measure.
- Metal whisk.
- Wooden spoon.
- Medium bowl.
- Large bowl.
- Cheese grater.
- A wooden toothpick.
So… about that recipe?
- 1 cup finely ground yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 6 tablespoons butter (plus extra)
- 2/3 cups frozen corn, thawed and rained (or fresh if it’s not winter)
- 1 cup grated cheese (we recommend a smoked or aged Gouda)
- 5 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Generously slather butter onto the bottom and sides of a 8 or 10 inch skillet.
- In large bowl, whisk corn meal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and chili powder.
- In small sauce pan, pour the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat.
- Once hot, add the garlic and cook until garlic is soft, about 3-5 minutes.
- Turn heat down to medium low and add in butter to melt.
- Once the butter is melted, turn off the heat.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, sour cream, half-and-half, the corn and four tablespoons of the (now slightly cooled) melted butter (along with any of the garlic that comes with it).
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing with a wooden spoon. Don’t over-mix, you just want to be sure that the dry mixture is all wet. You want to end up with everything being moist.
- Put the buttered skillet over some medium heat and pour the cornmeal batter into the skillet. Jiggle the skillet a little just to level out the batter.
- Spread half the grated cheese over the cornbread batter.
- Cook for ten minutes and pull from oven and pour the remaining two tablespoons of butter over the cornbread, along with the rest of the cheese.
- Bake for ten more minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool and cut into wedges and serve.
Notes: Since we’ve previously established that cornbread is a rather religious experience, we won’t even try to describe this dish. Suffice it to say, it is a good side dish. It’s easy, despite the fact that it requires 14 steps, pretty quick, and it makes a nice presentation. You can even serve it right in the cast iron pan.
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