Monday, November 05, 2007

Warm, Fresh Cheddar Cornbread

Cornbread!

Remember that broccoli soup I made not long ago? It was too good for just a few crackers on the side (although I am looking for the perfect cracker recipe, if anybody knows one.) That soup called out for something warm and substantial enough for dipping (Brad's favorite thing to do). Croutons just would. not. do. And while a nice piece of sourdough bread would have been nice - I don't do breads. I don't do them very well, that is. But cornbread? I can do that. It's in my blood, y'all.

I've made several kinds of cornbread over the last couple of years, and they have all been wonderful. I think it's one of those things that is hard to screw up, and it goes well with everything, too. It can be made a day or two ahead because it rewarms nicely, and do you know anyone who doesn't like it? OK, maybe I'm biased on that point since I'm in the South - it's pretty much a staple down here. Having chili? Beans? Fried chicken? Fish? Soup or stew? Serve cornbread.

I mean seriously. Just look up there at that nice, thick, warm, soft, cheesy piece of fresh cornbread. Would you turn it down? I didn't think so.

Cheddar Cornbread
Adapted from Everyday Food
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Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1.5 cups low-fat buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons butter

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, salt and pepper. Add buttermilk and eggs, and gently whisk. Stir in cheese.
3. Put butter in 9-inch cast-iron skillet. Put skillet in oven and leave it there until butter melts. Remove from oven, and tilt skillet to let butter coat entire bottom and sides.
4. Pour batter into skillet. Bake about 20 minutes, or until tester comes out clean. Let cool about 10 minutes before cutting.