Monday, March 1, 2010

Daddy's Cornbread




::Picture me in a beautiful southern bell flowing gown as I narrate this post::

Most southerns are very serious when it comes to grits and cornbread. We all have our own "right" way of making it. I am no exception. As a kid I watched my dad make cornbread at least once a week. I was always amazed that he never measured anything. Of course, you also never got a consistent cornbread, but that never mattered.

Many southerns also have strong strong ideas as to what goes in cornbread and what doesn't. Again, I am no exception. In my opinion, cornbread is simple, no sugar, corn kernels, flour, or other veggies are allowed in cornbread. Cornbread should not taste like cake, it should taste like cornbread. Or if you've never tasted cornbread, a dense, gritty, unsweetened bread. Cornmeal and grits are actually the same thing only cornmeal is ground down more.

I use a premix cornmeal (Martha White, to be exact) because that's what my dad used. I do measure my cornbread because I like getting a "good batch" every time. Here's my 4 ingredient simple recipe:

Daddy's Cornbread

1 egg, beaten
1 & 1/3 cup milk (or buttermilk)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cup's cornmeal mix

Throw it all in a bowl and mix.

Now let's talk hardware (as Alton Brown calls it):
I prefer cast iron for two reasons. One, it cooks the cornbread evenly. Two, it's just how it's always been done. I don't care for the corn muffins or the little trays that make cornbread into different shapes. You just don't mess with tradition. A round 8-10 in cast iron pan works mighty fine.

We use grease in our house to season the cast iron, keep it conditioned, and for no sticking. So screw the doc, grab the Crisco, and grease the damn pan - you won't regret it. It gives the cornbread a wonderful crispy edge.

Now pour your mixture into the pan and cook at 450 for 20-30 minutes, depending on how crispy and brown you like yours. We normally go the full 30 around here.

Service: The Other Williams (yes, I got my yankee to like my cornbread) likes her's sliced with butter. I enjoy it that way but my favorite is in milk (or half milk, half buttermilk). I was raised that it was the best way to eat cornbread, and I have to agree. Don't gross out until you try it. It's the best cereal you'll ever eat! Enjoy!

1 comment:

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