Tuesday, May 10, 2011

sweet skillet cornbread

Cornbread. Maybe it's the southerner in me, but I don't think there's another bread out there that can beat it with a stick. (I don't use that phrase often, so it really means something.)

Only recently did I discover the existence of a dividing line, approximate to the Mason-Dixon, that separates northern cornbread from southern. Many say the sweet, cake-like cornbread baked in a casserole hails from the north, while its savory, cast iron skillet-cooked cousin originates the south. Perhaps because I have both New England and southern roots, I prefer a hybrid of the two--enough sugar to make me feel like I'm eating a little dessert with my dinner, but a nice crust around the edges to give the bread some oomph.

So, I sort of hijacked this recipe from The Pioneer Woman, whom I love (or should I say, whose website I love). I substitute butter for shortening and add a little honey plus a lot of fresh sweet corn. I also halve it since there's just me to eat it, and that could be dangerous. (Plus, I accidentally bought a 6-inch cast iron skillet on eBay...you can't make a whole batch of anything in that.) Hence, this recipe can easily be doubled and cooked in a 10- or 12-inch skillet. 

sweet skillet cornbread 
adapted from The Pioneer Woman 
makes 4 (generous) servings
per serving:  162 cal, 4.1g fat, 28.3g carb, 1.9g fiber, 5.1g protein, 5+ weight watchers

1/2 c yellow cornmeal
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c buttermilk
1 egg white
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp butter, melted and divided
kernels from 1 ear of corn (about 1/2 c) 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

Whisk together buttermilk, egg white, and honey. Add buttermilk mixture to cornmeal mixture, and stir to combine. Fold in corn kernels and 1 tbsp melted butter, stirring just until incorporated. Batter will be very thick.

Pour rest of butter into a 6-inch cast iron skillet; set over medium heat. Once skillet is hot, swirl butter to coat it and pour (or rather push) batter into skillet.

Cook on stovetop for about one minute, then transfer to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes more, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

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