Cornbread: Simple and Sweet

17 May

Simple, delicious cornbreadSometimes you just need simple. You need to know that you won’t be disappointed or frustrated, that you’ll get exactly what you expected and no suprises. There’s something so comforting about simple.

So after a week of making pastry cream, italian merengues and tons of macarons…I needed simple. Not to mention that there’s been a lot of talk lately about a certain someone making cornbread at a certain underground market on June 9th…I was absolutely craving cornbread.

Apparently there are two types of cornbread: sweet and cakey from the North and salty and crumbly from the South. I guess I like a combination of all that: sweet, salty and crumbly. Normally, for any “typical American recipe” I look on Americas Test Kitchen, but this time I opted for the minimalist simplicity of Mark Bittman.

Now, we never ate much pork when I was growing, except for the occasional Shake n’ Bake pork chop, so I’ve never gotten into the whole “bacon craze”, but I had some in my freezer and decided to give my cornbread an extra kick. I chopped up some lardons and threw them in my new loaf pan that I bought from Calle Jujuy ❤ and stuck that in the oven…after about 7 minutes the lardons were nice and crackly and swimming in a pool of bacon fat, from there I poured in the cornbread batter and baked. The result? Absolutely beautiful. Crumbly texture, moist, bacon-y…I didn’t even reach for the butter! This recipe is my new go-to recipe for cornbread.

Easy, delicious cornbread

Cornbread recipe (from Mark Bittman, New York Times)

note: I opted for just 1/4 cup of sugar, and it had the perfect amount of sweetness.

  • 4 tablespoons butter, olive oil, lard or bacon drippings
  • 1 1/2 cups medium-grind cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, more if needed

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put fat in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or in an 8-inch square baking pan. Place pan in oven.

2. Meanwhile, combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix eggs into milk, then stir this mixture into dry ingredients, combining with a few swift strokes. If mixture seems dry, add another tablespoon or two of milk.

3. When fat and oven are hot, remove skillet or pan from oven, pour batter into it and smooth out top. Return pan to oven. Bake about 30 minutes, until top is lightly browned and sides have pulled away from pan; a toothpick inserted into center will come out clean. Serve hot or warm.

Easy cornbread and black beans

2 Responses to “Cornbread: Simple and Sweet”

  1. Jessica July 9, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    Where do you get cornmeal here? One time I tried to make cornbread, and I bought what I thought was cornmeal, and which was actually for faina or something. Needless to say it was terrible.

    • kvolman July 9, 2012 at 2:31 am #

      I’ve found cornmeal in Barrio Chino or in Bodega Amparo in Palermo. It’s usually called harina de maiz! Good luck!

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