Thursday, September 29, 2011

Skillet Cornbread

Cornbread is one of those things that people totally disagree on.

People up north think that cornbread ought to be sweet and fluffy, almost like unfrosted yellow cake that happens to, well, taste like corn.

That's called Yankee Cornbread.

Southern-style cornbread is denser and crumblier, living more up to the title of cornbread.  It's also much more savory and goes beautifully with beans, soups, stews, and chili.

And here's the part where I show my bias:
Southern cornbread is real cornbread.

Not to say that Yankee cornbread isn't delicious.  Because it is.  It's wonderful.
But it's not what I grew up on.  And therefore it must always include Yankee in its title.

My mom always sweetens her cornbread lightly with honey, bakes it up in a cast-iron skillet, and serves it with savory and spicy meals.  Skillet cornbread for me is a little taste of home, which is exactly what I wanted when I made this.

Now, this isn't the recipe I grew up with, but I altered the recipe I had to more resemble my childhood treat - I swapped out the white sugar for honey and baked it in a skillet, then served it with the super-easy-yet-super-tasty Black Bean and Salsa Soup.  It just...made me happy :)

As real cornbread always does.

Golden Yellow Skillet Cornbread
Source: adapted from the recipe on the Indian Head Cornmeal package 

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup white whole wheat flour
3 tbsp honey
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup milk
2 egg whites, beaten

Preheat the oven to 425˚F.  Grease a 10-10.5 inch cast iron skillet and set aside.
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Mix oil, honey, egg whites, and milk together and add to the dry ingredients, mixing just until the batter is uniform.
Pour into the prepared skillet and smooth out the top.  Bake for 20-25 minutes - the cornbread should be lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.
Serve with beans, soup, stew, or chili, or even just with butter and honey.  Enjoy!