Well friends, it’s been a pretty slow week this week in my cooking world. I’m busy planning a trip (where I will be eating amazing food) and I haven’t really cooked anything lately. I did, however, make some cornbread this past Tuesday, so let’s talk about that.
I started a list a few weeks ago. A list of food items/things/techniques/recipes that I would like to cook, or feel are necessary for me to use. Which, by the way, I am completely open to suggestion on. Anyway, I created this list because I have gotten very comfortable in what I do, but I want to branch out. I used to refrain from making things that my wife might not like, but I am trying to ignore that, and if nothing else, I have hungry friends at work that would be more than happy to take some food off my hands.
I said that because this cornbread was the first item that I have been able to cross off that list. I’ve lived in Florida now for many years and I thought it was time for me to make some cornbread. And up until recently, my cast iron skillet was out of commission (which I fixed, and will probably write about at another time). I found a recipe for the bread online, and it is from a trusted source. I will provide the recipe in a little bit, and then my perceptions of it. And more importantly, what I will do next time when I make it. I think when cooking something new, it’s always a good experience for it to go well, but have room for improvement. Almost immediately after tasting my cornbread, I knew what I had to do next time to make it better. Now of course, I did not use fresh, homemade creamed corn in the bread. That would be a lot of work, and I did not have a lot of time to make this bread. It was a very last-minute decision when I was at the grocery store. So I’ll go ahead and give the recipe now, and then in classic J Lethal style, I will provide my revisions for next time below it.
Creamed Corn Cornbread
- 2 cups cornmeal
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup creamed corn
- 2 tbsp neutral oil (vegetable, canola)
- Preheat oven to 425° and place a 10 or 12-inch cast iron skillet on the middle rack
- While that’s heating, combine all of the dry stuff in a bowl and whisk together to incorporate.
- In a separate (larger) bowl, combine all of the wet stuff (except the oil!) and whisk together to incorporate. When that’s done, add the dry stuff to the wet stuff and mix it well to combine.
- At this point, your oven should be preheated, and your cast iron nice and hot. Open the oven door, pull out the oven rack enough to gain access to the skillet and add the oil to the pan. Swirl it around so there is good coverage. Act quick because you don’t want to waste the heat in the oven!
- Once the oil has been swirled around, pour the batter into the pan and either move it around with a silicone spatula or swirl it in the pan to distribute all the way around. There will be some sizzling, but this is normal.
- Push the rack back in and close the door. Set your timer for about 17 minutes. The recipe calls for 20 minutes, but it depends on your oven. You’re looking for a golden top, and brown around the edges.
Of course that was mine and I would do a few things differently. First of all, the taste was pretty good, so I know the base recipe is a solid recipe to go off of. Mine was a little on the dry side. It needed butter. In my opinion, a lot of it. But that’s okay, because everything is better with butter, right? Anyway, it was dry. I would probably add another few touches of buttermilk just to round that out and make it a little more moist. I would probably also add more creamed corn. In a perfect world, you would add homemade creamed corn, but I just didn’t have time for that. I used a green can of creamed corn, which is fine, and maybe next time I would use a little more. (As a side note right here, if you’re using a canned corn for this, I would recommend a low-sodium option, since those things are always packed with salt and can throw off the flavor.)
As far as augmentations, I think next time what I’ll do, instead of using canola oil, I will go for bacon fat. Sure, it will kill any positive nutrition the bread has in the first place, but I really don’t care. I want something that tastes good. I don’t think the bread itself needs bacon bits in there to help it, but the cooking in the fat would be a huge increase to the amount of flavor that would be in the final product. I would also probably add some heat. Maybe 3 jalapeno peppers or so. I would probably de-seed 2 of them and leave the seeds in one. That would provide a pretty good balance of heat and the sweetness from the pepper itself. If my friends upset me before I make this again, I could use habanero peppers and not tell them. But I would never do that to my friends. Maybe.
My friends at work also mentioned that they prefer a sweeter cornbread. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, I feel like that would be a completely different recipe. At least, that’s how I’m going to treat it because I have not made a sweet cornbread yet. I’ll save that for another time.Stay positive, love your life, and play with your food 🙂