April 2, 2009

Skillet Cornbread

For the past few weeks, I have been absolutely smitten with a new cookbook - The Cornbread Gospels. This lovely book is written by Crescent Dragonwagon, and is the result of years of research and just an all-out passion for cornbread. It is loaded with history, storytelling and of course, many wonderful recipes. This is one of those cookbooks that you read like a novel. By the end, you not only have a greater appreciation for cornbread, but also for the many people and generations that have helped evolve it and add to its rich history.

This book doesn't miss a beat. There are recipes and descriptions for traditional northern, southern and southwestern cornbreads, as well as ones found world wide. It is full of new and eventful ways to use cornmeal, in addition to ways to use up leftover cornbread. Recipes for things like baked beans and cooked greens are included to make sure you have the perfect accompaniment to each and every type.

So where is one to begin? I will admit, there are more little flags coming off of this book than you will find at the UN. Nearly every recipe appealed to me in some way. Most people already have a love affair with cornbread (of some variety), but hearing the history behind each recipe only entices you to try it more. I decided to start in a rather natural spot, with the same cornbread that Miss Crescent served up in her very own restaurant in Arkansas, the Dairy Hollow House.

This cornbread was simple to make using a cast-iron skillet. For those of you a little intimidated to use your cast-iron, this is a great starter recipe. All you do is heat some butter up in the skillet, add the mixture of ingredients and pop it in the oven. The cornbread comes out with a buttery, thin and crisp outer crust that is in perfect contrast to the soft and airy center. If I have ever tasted a cornbread that I would call "authentic" this would be it. It's neither sweet nor spicy, but has a true corn flavor that shines through beautifully. My husband and I alone cleared off half the skillet with dinner, and I finished off the rest with a big smear of butter for breakfast the next morning. If you like non-sweetened cornbread, I would give this a try. And if you are a cornbread fan in general, I would definitely recommend checking out this book.

A big Thanks to Sam over at My Carolina Kitchen for this very thoughtful award. Sam writes a food column for the Murphy, NC paper and has tons of great recipes. She also has been spending time in the south of France, and has some amazing posts on the food and her experiences there. I'm sure you would really enjoy hearing all about it - I know I am super jealous!! :) Over the past months I have made some great friends through the food blog community, so I want to share this award with all of you!!

The hubs and I are taking a little trek down south for all of next week, so I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter! I can't wait to spend some time on the golf course and in the sun, and of course, wear white pants!


Dairy Hollow House Skillet-Sizzled Cornbread

vegetable oil cooking spray
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal (use organic if you can)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup mild vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
  • Preheat the oven to 375℉.
  • Spray a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with oil and set aside.
  • Sift the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt together.
  • In a small bowl, stir the baking soda and buttermilk together.
  • Whisk in the sugar, egg and 1/4 cup oil into the buttermilk.
  • Place the oiled skillet over medium heat, add the butter and cook just until butter has melted and starts to sizzle.
  • Turn the pan so that the butter covers the entire bottom and sides of the pan.
  • Combine wet and dry ingredients, and stir together using as few strokes as possible.
  • Scrape batter into pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until it is golden brown.
  • Let it cool slightly, slice and serve.

33 comments:

Sandy said...

I love cornbread. I was looking for a good cornbread recipe and this looks delicious. Thanks for sharing!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

LOL!!! I take it that Jif cornbread mix is banned from your pantry! I love my cast iron skillet, too. Once I learned how to season it, and to keep soap away...it's as non-stick as it gets. I love cornbread, too... but I gotta have my honey with it. Wish I had some of your, right now. Oh, that's right! You polished it off!
Have fun golfing.... FORE!

Elra said...

I really like the sounding of corn bread, I can say this worn over and over, it just something delicious about saying it. Sadly, I never made it before. I always think it's difficult bread to make. Maybe I should try it, especially after seeing your recipe.
Cheers,
elra

5 Star Foodie said...

This skillet cornbread sounds excellent! I've made corn muffins and corn bread before but not the skillet one. I'll definitely be giving it a try. My husband and I are huge cornbread fans!

Jeff said...

Can never go wrong with using cast iron for everything. Skillet cornbread is one of those great grandma memories I have too.

Donna-FFW said...

This sounds wonderful and I will most definitely try it. I hope you have a blast of a trip, enjoy wearing those white pants, lucky girl!!

Lavanya said...

wow..mouthwatering ..i never tried corn bread..looking very smooth !!

Helene said...

I like Crescent. This is a nice cornbread. I have to taste this someday.

Junglefrog said...

That's an interesting way to make bread and it looks so simple. I am not sure if we have cornbread here in Holland, it doesn't really look familiar so maybe I should try it, since I have managed to bake my first bread last week I might as well try something else too.. have a lovely week!

Sara said...

I have never baked in my skillet before, I should definitely try this. I'm not sure how non stick my skillet actually is though...

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

I've never been a cornbread fan but you make me want to give it another chance. Have a great trip!

Maria said...

Nice job on the cornbread. Looks yummy!

Kerstin said...

Sounds like a cool cookbook! I don't have a cast iron skillet, but I definitley need to get one. Looks delicious!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Is there anything more comforting than cornbread? Yours looks so good.

dessertobsessed said...

i love cornbread from marie callenders! but the one next to my house just closed... guess i'll have to start making my own!

noble pig said...

The words skillet-sizzled makes me want to eat it so badly.

Grace said...

skillet-sizzled, eh? sounds good to me! southern cornbread is clearly superior. :)

Sophie said...

This cornbread loks really delicious!! have a great week! Have fun ! Happy easter!! Bye!

Jamie said...

Yummmy I love cornbread but never make it these days in France. And I want a skillet like that! Lucky you!

Mary said...

I love my cast iron skillet and use the 10-inch one to make cornbread. Your recipe looks delicious. Congratulations on your award.

Pumpkin said...

I loves me some cornbread! My personal favorite variety is a little sweet, with little bits of corn in it. However, I rarely discriminate against ANY cornbread!

Desmone007 said...

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Emily said...

Wow, this looks terrific! Cornbread is one of my favorite foods. I'll have to try this for sure.

Apples and Butter said...

I adore cornbread. I like it sweet, I like it savory, I like it all ways! I didn't know about this book so I will definitely have to check it out. Thans for the tip!

Aimée said...

I want that skillet!! Guess I'd settle for some cornbread, though. :)

Juliana said...

This cornbread using skillet sound great! I had cornbread like this in restaurants...now I can make them.

Jescel said...

i love cornbread, but have never tried it cooked on a skillet before. thanks for sharing .. will try your recipe. it sounds perfect. and yeah, knowing about the history of what you eat makes you more appreciate if your food, huh?

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I've been traveling and I've missed reading my favorite blogs. Your cornbread looks fabulous. The cast iron skillet makes it all the better.
Sam

tastymealsathome.com said...

Cornbread..YUMMM

Kevin said...

That cornbread looks good!

Heather Wetzel said...

Nice! I'm a southerner (living in Chicago now with also tons of food choices!) and I LOVE some cornbread. This recipe looks pretty tasty and on par with what I grew up eating! Good luck with your cooking endeavors!

from my motorhome to yours said...

I add corn to my corn bread, and call it corny corn bread!!

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