by Tammy Taylor
I like to try to make things from scratch when I’m cooking – it’s more delicious, less expensive and typically causes less landfill trash so it really appeals to me. Usually when I’m looking for a recipe I’ll do an internet search, read the reviews, pick a recipe and just go with it. If we like it the recipe stays in my rotation, but each and every recipe I’ve tried for cornbread has been lacking and usually a little on the dry side. Then recently a dear friend brought homemade cornbread to us – it was tasty, lightly sweet and perfectly light textured. We loved it! I begged for the recipe and she shared it with me. (Thanks Virginia!) I made this cornbread with chopped jalapenos tonight to go with a hearty pot of ham and beans for supper. It also pairs nicely with my homemade Beef & Black Bean Chili. Absolutely delicious! Yes, I’ll share.
First I pulled out and measured the ingredients: 1 cup enriched yellow cornmeal, 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 4 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup milk, 1 egg, 1/4 cup vegetable oil and some jalapenos. I love the wholesome ingredients in this recipe.
Then I preheated the oven to 425 degrees and placed my cast iron skillet in the oven as it was preheating. I think placing the batter in hot cast iron gives the cornbread a nicer crust.
In the meantime I mixed the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. In another bowl I mixed the milk, egg and vegetable oil until blended.
Then I combined the ingredients in both bowls, stirring until blended. I tossed in some chopped jalapenos and then stirred the batter until the ingredients were fully incorporated. I like my food spicy so I didn’t seed the peppers, but for a more docile palate the peppers can be seeded to reduce the heat somewhat.
Now I pulled the hot skillet from the oven and greased the bottom of the skillet with unsalted butter. Again, this is to assure that buttery crisp crust that we love so much! As a side note – look at that beautiful pitch-black flawless cast iron surface. It’s had over 75 years of TLC and it holds many more years than that in its future! (sigh….) Oops, off track again…
Now I pour the batter into the hot skillet and place the skillet back in the oven to bake. About 20 minutes later the cornbread is beautifully brown. When I brought the skillet out of the oven I brushed unsalted butter across the surface – just my preference.
We enjoyed the cornbread very much and it’s certainly now in my permanent recipe rotation. 🙂
Here’s the recipe – give it a try!
* * * * * * * * * *
- 1 cup enriched yellow corn meal
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1-2 chopped jalapenos
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place cast-iron skillet in oven as it is preheating.
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl mix milk, egg and oil until blended. Add chopped jalapenos. Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and stir until moistened and fairly smooth (about 1 minute.)
Carefully remove hot skillet from oven and grease with butter. Pour batter into skillet and bake 20 to 23 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
(Note: You can use an 8 inch cake pan that has been greased or sprayed instead of a cast iron skillet)
Mexican-Flavored corn bread:
Stir 1 cup whole kernel corn, 2 tablespoons chopped green chilies and 1/2 teaspoon chili powder and follow baking directions above. Remove from the oven and top it with 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese if you would like.
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