Tag Archives: Cornbread

Jalapeno Skillet Cornbread Southern style

When I first tried giving James cornbread he was three years old and decidedly not a fan.  I included cheese in the recipe but he was not to be fooled.  All manner of changes were made to the recipe but to no avail.  Then one day I asked, “Jamesy, would you like some Johnny cake?”  Johnny cake is usually baked on a griddle, flat and thin.  I didn’t even have to do that.  I baked up the usual cornbread in my cast iron skillet and he scarfed it down.  He was sold.  My boy had heard the word “cake”.  That’s all it took.  Don’t you wish all eating problems could be solved so easily? James has since grown into a young man who is confident in the kitchen and more than happy to eat Mama’s spicier version of cornbread.  This recipe is roll-your-eyes delicious.  By baking it in a pre-heated iron skillet the bottom of the cornbread becomes crispy and the flavor of the cornmeal is heightened.  I’m fully aware the addition of sugar in cornbread is individual and also more common up North.  However, in the south it’s just not done by us old timers, at least not this one.  Corn is naturally sweet…there’s no need to add sugar.  But scallions and jalapenos are always welcome in cornbread.  It bakes up so beautifully and pairs well with so much.  Can’t have collards without cornbread.  Or chili.  Served with fish chowder or southern BBQ, cornbread is tradition .  Both black eyed peas and tortilla soup demand a healthy wedge.  Quite simply, there’s nothing like cornbread crumbled over a small bowl of cold buttermilk.  Now THAT’S southern!

img_4391

Simple, fast and cheap, this recipe will become a family favorite.  Although 1/2 cup of chopped jalapenos seems like a lot, the peppers lose quite a bit of their heat during the baking process.  However, feel free to cut back on them if you’re not crazy about heat or you’re feeding little ones.  If you don’t have a cast iron skillet I suggest you save this recipe until you do have one.  It just won’t crisp up and will be a huge disappointment.  Most importantly, don’t forget to be super careful about grasping the handle of the skillet while moving it in and out of the oven.  It’ll be screaming hot so make sure you have several dry kitchens towels available to make maneuvering easy.

fullsizeoutput_164c

Jalapeno Skillet Cornbread Southern style

  • Servings: 10-12 wedges
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup jarred jalapeno slices, roughly chopped
  • 1 large bunch (approximately 7-8) scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups buttermilk, not reduced fat
  • 2 cups medium ground cornmeal, I like white best but that’s just me
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425°.
  2. Place the oil in a 10″ cast iron skillet.  Spread the oil all over the pan so that it coats all of the bottom and up the sides.  You can use your fingers, a basting brush or simply swirl the oil all over.
  3. Immediately place the skillet in the pre-heating oven.
  4. In a small bowl combine the chopped jalapeno, scallions, egg and buttermilk.  Mix thoroughly.  Set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk together the cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until combined.
  7. USING A HOT MITT OR DRY DISH TOWEL remove the hot skillet from the oven and pour the batter into it.
  8. CAREFULLY return the pan to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool on a rack for 15-20 minutes prior to  slicing.

http://www.theirreverentkitchen.com

 

Advertisements

Sweet Blueberry Buttermilk Cornbread in a Jiffy

IMG_1005

Ever had cornbread that’s so darned rich it’s really corn CAKE?  Well, that’s what I made the other night.  I wanted collards for dinner, masses of thin, green ribbons slow simmered in a gorgeous pot likker seasoned with bits of smoked ham, chopped onion, vinegar and red pepper flakes.  And resting on top of my greens I wanted a thick chunk of cornbread.  Collards and cornbread go hand in hand.  Since this pot was only for Jimmy and me I made it much spicier than usual adding more vinegar and quite a bit more red pepper flakes.  To cut some of that heat I wanted a rich, sweet cornbread.  I’m not one to put any kind of fruit in cornbread…I had always thought that just ruined it until this week when my friend Janey brought over some soup, blueberry cornbread and a HUGE dark chocolate candy bar studded with almonds.  I had been feeling puny so the soup really hit the spot.  I wasn’t going to even try the cornbread because of the blueberries but she had purchased these things at Whole Foods and probably paid $9.00 for that little chunk of bread.  A firm embracer of “waste not, want not”, I tasted it.  Oh, sweet baby Jesus.  It was so good!!  I thought, “I can do this and do it my way.”  So I did.  Since I won’t pay $6.00 for that little, crappy container of fresh blueberries at the grocery store I opted for canned blueberries in a light syrup.  Don’t get pie filling.  Just make sure the berries are well-drained after softly rinsing them well in a colander.  And, of course, be very gentle when stirring them in and keep the mixing down to a bare minimum.  If you’re wondering about frozen I didn’t use them because I think they would start defrosting while folding them into the mix and their juices would turn the batter purple.  Other than those pointers it’s pretty simple.  And it’s so good-looking! Deep purple against that soft yellow is just lovely.  But you could use peaches, canned, fresh or frozen.  Or other mixed berries.  But try this.  You’ll love it!  And use your cast iron pan.  It will give you a crispy, salty crust that will make your head spin!  You could easily serve this Thanksgiving morning with bacon for breakfast.  And your family can snack on it through the day until dinner is served.  It’s really good the next day, too, cold.  Oh, and the recipe doubles really well.  Just add 12-15 minutes to your baking time.  I hope you like it!

IMG_1016

Blueberry Buttermilk Cornbread

yield:  1 10 1/2″ cake

  • 1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin mix
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yoghurt, I use Fage non-fat
  • 2 tablespoons honey or molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 15 ounce can blueberries in LIGHT syrup, I use Oregon brand
  • a scant 1/4 cup of canola oil for the pan

IMG_1024

Preheat oven to 400°.

  1. Pour oil into pan and swirl it around making sure to cover all the bottom and up the sides.  I use a 10 1/2″ iron skillet.
  2. Place pan in oven.
  3. Drain blueberries in a colander and lightly rinse to get off any excess purple syrup.  Drain well and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients breaking up any large lumps and set aside.
  5. In a small bowl mix buttermilk, yoghurt, honey or molasses and egg.  Mix well until smooth.  I use a small whisk to break up the yoghurt.
  6. Add buttermilk mixture to Jiffy Corn Muffin mixture and stir until there are no dry spots but try not to stir too much.
  7. Very gently fold in drained blueberries, trying not to break the berries as they’ll stain the batter purple.
  8. BEING EXTREMELY CAREFUL SO AS NOT TO GET BURNED, remove hot skillet from oven and pour in batter.  Return to oven.
  9. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Collards with Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread, oh, yes, ma’am!

Many, many years ago I went to college at a school in Macon, Georgia.  I did.  My father owned a pretty elegant women’s clothing store in Fort Lauderdale, aeons ago, and, honey, when his little girl went off to school he made sure she was nothing less than the fashion plate she deserved to be!  He went to New York on a special buying trip JUST FOR ME!! (It’s never been better!!) I had pea coats, car coats, over coats, rain coats, pants, skirts, dresses, tops, oh, and the shoes!!! Cashmere, camel-hair, Egyptian cotton, it was heaven! And I was a size 4.  Yup.  I was.  Meanwhile, up in Yankee country, the man whom I would one day marry, was a TA  in a class entitled “Introduction to Environmental Planning and Design” for undergraduates at Tufts.  Really??? At that time Jimmy had a super long beard, really long hair, glasses…from what I’ve heard he was angry ALL the time!!  And he protested.  On the level of get thrown in jail and be on the 6 o’clock news.  He was what we called “a hippie”.  “A radical long-haired hippie”.  With a big smile on my face, I would have, elegantly and with a lot of style, crossed the street to avoid him!  Suffice it to say, he would have looked way down his perfect Greek nose at me and stayed on HIS side of the street.  No love lost.  It was 1975 and we were worlds apart.  We just hadn’t met yet!  Anyway, same time but hundreds of miles away, Jimmy had a field trip planned for his students to look at distressed neighborhoods in Dorchester, pronounced Dah-ches-tuh by Bostonians, and had four undergrads in his ’72 Volvo, (how sensible!). They were leaving Jamaica Plain, on the Jamaica Way, adjacent to the Arnold Arboretum, when some of the students looked out the window and questioned what a couple of women bending over on the side of the road were doing.  Actually, they were in a field.  When they bended over, you could see their hose rolled up under their knees. “What’s out there?” questioned the students.  “What are they doing?”  Jimmy stopped chattering about urban development, turned, looked, and thought “f..k me.”  He thought, “Jesus, Ma!!”  It was his mother and Mrs. Scarlatos.  Mrs. Scarlatos’ son was Jimmy’s best friend since they were two years old!  (I think that is SO nice!)  They were on the side of the highway picking greens.  That’s what Greek moms do.   Good Greek moms! That’s why they live so long, if they’re not hit by a car first!!  Collards are a superfood in my kingdom.  I pretty much never buy bagged.  I buy the prettiest bunches I can find.  These greens pack a HUGE nutritional punch!  On all leaves except the small, pale green inner leaves, I cut out the middle rib, the stem.  I just can’t stand them floating around in my greens!  But that’s just me. I’ll typically buy two large bunches and eventually, take some to my parents.  Of course, my younger sister, Pamela, will be called and she’ll pack some up to take home and then, promptly suck down some here!  For some time now I’ve been using smoked turkey pieces in my greens instead of ham hocks.  The taste is still sublime but they’re much better for you.  That’s not to say I haven’t deviated.  I’ve used ham hocks, pancetta, prosciutto, just about any savory pork product I have in the house and they all work well.  The smoked turkey tastes just like a pork product but you do need to factor in more time. A couple of hours to tenderize the turkey and create a nice broth in which the greens cook.  In the South, collards are always served with cornbread.  I know it’s easy to pick up that light, blue box that costs next to nothing, but homemade is almost as easy, just a thousand times tastier!  Let’s talk a little about the vessel in which you’re going to make your cornbread.  Cast iron skillets.  A gift from God!  There’s a little someone up in Massachusetts that just got one so here are my thoughts.  Water never, EVER touches mine.  I don’t care if I fry fish, water ain’t touching it.  When cooled, I wipe the inside out well with paper towels and then pour a liberal amount of plain, old table salt into the pan.  With a clean paper towel, I rub that salt all over, getting up all bits of fried food and any excess oil.  I might do that two or three times until it’s wiped clean.  It’s SO worth it!  The satiny, beautiful sheen on that pan when you’re finished will make your heart sing!  At least it does mine!  If you want to season a new cast iron pan, pour a little vegetable oil in the pan, rub it around with a paper towel wiping off any excess.  Put it in a medium hot oven, maybe 350°, and leave it there about 15 minutes.  Take it out, let it cool, then put it away.  After that, the more you use it, the more beautiful it becomes.  Just no water, please!  And I’ve got a shout out to my girls at “the Dixie”!  Hey to April and Latoya who always have my culinary back!  Y’all are the best!

Collards with Jalapeno Cornbread

  • 7 cups water
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large smoked turkey leg
  • 2 bunches collards, ribs cut out, washed and cut into thin ribbons
  • 2 tbls. white vinegar
  • 1 heaping tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbls. olive oil
  1. In a large pot or dutch oven, combine water, onion and turkey leg.  Bring water to a boil, drop to simmer, cover and let cook for 2 hours.  This will be the base of your pot liquor.
  2. During the last half hour of cooking time, cut the ribs out of the collard leaves, roll the leaves cutting them into thin ribbons, wash well in sink and drain of excess water.
  3. Take turkey leg out of pot and set aside.   To pot add greens, vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and olive oil. Mix well.  I use tongs to toss and combine.  That way I’m not tearing up the greens.  Cover and continue to simmer.
  4. When cool to the touch, shred turkey leg, adding meat to the pot and discarding any bones, skin or funky pieces.  Toss well with greens, add water if dry, maybe 1/2 cup, cover and simmer another 45 minutes or so.  Serve with cornbread.

Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread

Yield: one skillet

  • 5 tbls. butter, divided into 3 tbls. and 2 tbls.
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 3/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, bagged is just fine.
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbls. jarred, chopped jalapenos
  • 2-3 washed, chopped scallions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Place 3 of the 5 tbls. of butter in skillet and place in hot oven to melt.
  3. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients including shredded cheese.
  4. In a small bowl mix buttermilk, eggs, jalapenos and scallions. Melt last two tbls. of  butter and mix into buttermilk mixture.
  5. Pour buttermilk mixture into cornmeal mixture and combine well.
  6. Using glove or dishtowel, carefully take skillet out of oven, (DON’T BURN YOURSELF!), pour cornbread mixture into skillet and return to oven.
  7. Bake 25-30 minutes or until, you guessed it, golden on top!
  8. Again, be careful not to burn yourself taking it out of the oven.  I let mine cool for a few minutes on a cutting board, before cutting.  Dig in.