Flavourful additions spice up a classic favourite!
My mother made cornbread often when I was growing up, although she called it johnnycake. I think she served it because it’s an inexpensive yet tasty way to fill up a large, hungry family. I still love cornbread for many reasons – the crunchiness of the cornmeal, the tang of the buttermilk and especially the crispy exterior. I usually prefer to make my cornbread in mini-muffin pans, for one-bite wonders that maximize that delicious crispiness. Although it’s not essential, using bacon fat to grease the pans adds another great taste element. Yes, I admit it, I keep a jar of bacon fat in my fridge. No shame. Feel free to add or subtract from the seasonings; a bit of grated cheddar is also very yummy. Fresh cornbread is best eaten within 24 hours but it also freezes beautifully. I like to serve it with chili, hearty soups, or even in as a polenta substitute. You can easily halve this recipe to make a smaller batch and if you prefer to serve it in pretty wedges, bake it in two round pans.
- 3/4 cup (185 mL) yellow cornmeal
- 3/4 cup (185 mL) all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) white sugar
- 1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking soda
- 1 1/2 (7.5 mL) teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 (7.5 mL) teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) minced chives (or green onion tops)
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) minced pickled jalapeños
- 1 1/4 cups (310 mL) buttermilk (or regular milk mixed with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- bacon fat or butter for greasing pan
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Grease with bacon fat or butter a 13×9 inch metal baking pan, 18 regular-sized muffin tins or 48 mini-muffin tins.
- Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Stir in jalapeño and chives.
- Whisk buttermilk and eggs together in medium bowl, then whisk in melted butter.
- Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir just until blended.
- Pour batter into prepared pan (whether making a large pan or muffins, it should only come about 2/3 of the way up the sides of the pan.
- Bake until lightly browned on top and toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean, about 25 minutes for a 9 x 13 pan, 18 minutes for regular sized muffins and 13 minutes for mini muffins.
- When cooked, allow to cool completely in pan(s) on a wire rack.
- If not serving within 2 hours, cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 24 hours or freeze for up to one month.
Serves 10 – 12.