I was struck by an overwhelming desire yesterday for cornbread. I was shopping for my Tuesday night LOST meal (yep, I plan a themed meal for my friends and I, ’cause I’m a nerd) and I was going to take the easy route and buy some fresh rolls to go with our whiskey BBQ grilled chicken—when suddenly I felt rolls would not suffice. What this meal needed was real, southern, homemade cornbread baked in a cast iron skillet.
The thing is—I didn’t have a cast iron skillet and I honestly didn’t have the money to spend on a new pan. So I did what any thrifty girl would do: I went to Goodwill.
Now, I’ve been looking for decent cast iron pans in thrift stores for a while but had yet to happen upon one. But the thrifting gods were smiling upon me that day, dear readers, because right there on the second shelf of cookware was a 10″ cast iron skillet, perfectly seasoned and in amazing condition. The lady who rang me up even remarked on the quality. “You never find them like this! And only $5? Wow, you got lucky!” Oh, I know.
Dear readers, allow me to introduce you to the perfect cornbread.
Not too sweet, not too dry and crumbly but not too moist. The perfect cornbread. I passed a wedge around to everyone to try while we waited for the chicken to finish and we all fell in love. “Where is the rest of this? ‘Cause I’m gonna eat it all,” was my brother’s response. This was so delicious I had to make a second batch immediately that we ate with honey as desert. Those three slices above are all that is left of two batches of cornbread. It was that good.
So, make sure you have a cast iron pan ready ’cause here is the recipe:
The Best Freaking Cornbread I’ve Ever Made
- 1 cup Cornmeal
- 1 cup All-purpose Flour
- ⅓ cups Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1 cup Milk
- ¼ cups Butter, Melted
- 1 whole Egg
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to an 8-inch cast iron skillet and place in the oven (I used a 10″ and while it wasn’t as thick, it was still perfect). The oil and the skillet will get hot and this is how the crust gets so wonderfully crunchy.
In a large mixing bowl, add the first five ingredients (cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt), stirring until well combined. Add milk, butter and egg, stir until just combined. Carefully remove the skillet from oven and pour in the batter, spreading around evenly. Place the skillet back into the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes, or until the cornbread is lightly browned on top and an inserted knife comes out clean. Serve with butter. Then make another batch and serve with honey.
Go make it! Your belly will thank me, your hips may not.
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