Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Ben Elevates Basic Cornbread

It suddenly occurred to Rebecca and me, by telepathy on the very same day (I'm not kidding) that we should split leftover cornbread and melt some cheese on top. 

When I served just such a piece to Ben at lunch with soup, he asked politely and firmly for honey on top.  I explained that the bubbly, toasted cheese was the topping, but he insisted.  And guess what?  honey on top of toasted cheese on top of cornbread is delicious!  Smart boy.

I thought it would be tasty for breakfast.  It is.  I told Ben he invented a new breakfast.

I tried some blackberry jam with the cheese, too, and it was also great.  We had Pink Lady apples on the side, and age-appropriate hot drinks.

This is an excellent way to use leftover cornbread; the other way is to make cornbread dressing.

Basic Cornbread from More with Less

Bad cornbread is really bad; it is dry and crumbly and hard to choke down.  I am careful not to overmix the batter and not to overbake the bread; I get tender, moist cornbread every time.  Also this recipe is so quick to whip up that the oven is never preheated by the time I'm ready to slide the pan in! 

In a mixing bowl, combine with a whisk:
1 c. cornmeal
1 c. whole wheat flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Make a well in the dry ingredients; this gives you a headstart on mixing without beating so hard that you turn out a dry, crumbly bread.

Put in the well:
2 eggs

Break them up with a whisk.  Beat slightly.

Add to the eggs in the well:
1 c. milk
1/4 c. vegetable oil

Mindfully, pay attention, and stir JUST until mixed.  It's okay if there are streaks of flour and egg.  Pour into a greased 9x9 pan or equivalent cast-iron frying pan.  Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes, when bread has pulled away from the sides of the pan and is lightly browned.  Better to underbake than overbake!  I use my cast-iron skillet and only bake for 18-20 minutes because the cast iron bakes faster than aluminum or glass.


Zoë said...

I like to split the cornbread, butter it on both sides, and fry it in a skillet. This with dippy eggs is a delicious breakfast. Just had it yesterday, in fact!

BLD in MT said...

Cornbread dressing is one of my all time favorites...and I am still riding the high from having it last week at Thanksgiving. For me, it wouldn't be thanksgiving without it!

I could totally see how cheese and honey (or jam) would be fabulous. Its that sweet and salty thing. I like jelly with cheese on crackers, especially soft cheeses and especially pepper jelly.

Good work, Ben!

jenny_o said...

Now my mouth is watering :)

Beth in the City said...

I love corn bread and corn muffins! I have a recipe that is very dense and moist and sweet, like spoon bread, only more dense. It's so good but not very healthy I'm afraid.

Unknown said...

I just had some tonite with a spicy "lowlands boil", a southern seafood boil, yummy!

Margo said...

Beth, I'd be interested in your recipe if you care to share! Thanks.

Margo said...

Zoe, that sounds excellent. I am going to try that. We had eggs with fried mush and syrup this morning :) Took forever for the hot oil smell to leave the house, I'm afraid.

Polly said...

I love cornbread! I have de-glutenized the one in the Joy of Cooking with great success, but I will try this recipe next. (With buttermilk....maybe that's a southern thing but I cannot fathom cornbread without buttermilk involved! ha!)
I love a good cornbread.

Sew Blessed Maw [Judy] said...

Yummy.. A corn bread pizza.. Sounds like my kind of dish.. Will definitely try it..
Now..not sure about the honey on