- 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.
April 2, 2009
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
1/4 cup mild vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter