Friday, October 9, 2009

Southern Cornbread Recipe. . .

A TIP!: GMR taught me to get everything measured out and together before I start a recipe, that way you know you have everything you need, and it makes things easier to just prepare the recipe without stopping and searching. This has been the best tip for me!
Be sure to pre-heat your oven. My recipe called for 425, but I set it on 450 because of our elevation and because sometimes I like a higher setting for my cornbread.
I always sift my dry ingredients; and in a separate bowl, or big measuring cup, I beat the eggs and milk together, then add the oil to the liquid. I use less oil than some recipes. The recipe below calls for 1/4 cup, but I use a couple tablespoons instead. I play around with the amount of oil...sometimes I just don't like much oil in it.

One thing I do differently from some recipes is to put more cornmeal than I do flour - I just like the texture better. For example, I'll put only a 1/4 cup of flour and a cup and three quarters of cornmeal to make the two cups needed. You can play around with it. There's been times I've used no flour at all, if I have a finely-ground cornmeal.

I also never use lowfat milk in my cornbread and since that's all I have in the little log house fridge, I add cream or half and half or something like that to the lowfat milk to get more fat in the cornbread. Lowfat or skim milk makes for drier cornbread!

I pre-heat my skillet until it's hot. Then when I pour the mixture in, it creates a 'crust' on the bottom.

Adding whole kernel corn or creamed corn makes for a different texture and taste, but it's gooood eating too.I like plain old cornbread with my beans, so if I add corn to it, I eat that with something else.

When I was growing up and trying to help my mother in the kitchen, there was always this big joke around my house about my cornbread. I just couldn't prepare a decent pan of cornbread--dang it all, what's a southern girl to do if she can't bake a good pan of cornbread? One time, the cornbread was so hard, my brothers took it and banged it against the counter and it didn't break *laughing,* then they took it outside and threw it back and forth, laughing like idiots. The next time, the cornbread looked as if it swam in a sea of grease, and was so soft and disgusting, even my brothers wouldn't touch it. That time, they felt sorry for me and tried to tell me it didn't matter, because I'd busted out crying, caterwauling about how I couldn't make cornbread....poor thang bless her little heart.

Finally, finally, finally! I can make a good pan of cornbread! Good thing, since I looooove cornbread and beans and live too far from my mother to eat hers.
Gumbo Writer has inspired me to think about cooking and recipes again. It's been so long since I cooked for a family. I've been thinking of the days when I worked full time, and would come home to cook for my (then) husband and my son. Now, it's just GMR and me and I work at home. A pan of cornbread goes stale before we can eat it all - so, it's a treat I don't have often. The birds and squirrels get the leftovers, though, and they seem to like cornbread day *grin.*

So, bake up a pan of cornbread and sop it in your beans - yeeee doggies!

Here's a sample recipe - but shoot, you can find cornbread recipes everywhere....just play around with it as I've done until you find the texture and taste you like the best.
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup All Purpose or Unbleached Flour
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1 egg, slightly beaten


Maria-Thérèse said...

I've never had cornbread!

Guess what...... my first book comes out tomorrow! Poetry reading + book signing, please keep your fingers crossed for me (sometime tonight or early morning your time....)

Analisa said...

Girl, cornbread and beans was a staple in my house. I like pinto beans with mine but must admit I don't think I have done it from scratch. I will try it soon and let you know how it came out. I have been baking stuff like cookies from scratch and was surprised at how well I did. My best friend tasted my last batch, chocolate chocolate chips and kept saying you baked these? From scratch. My son loved them too. We will see. Happy Weekend!

Karen said...

Ooooo, love cornbread! Have you ever tried adding some creamed corn and scallions in it? Oh, good grief, now I have to go make some for supper, my mouth is watering. :)

jeannette stgermain said...

Thanks for all the tips! and you can tell by the next comment that I'm not a Southern girl (I am Dutch:) ) - I love cornbread, learned to eat it in TX, like okra, grits and the sorts, but...I never knew you could make cornbread and put it in a skillet instead of a baking pan!

Susan R. Mills said...

Thanks for the recipe. It's supposed to be really cold here this weekend, so I planned on making chili and cornbread. I was going to make cornbread from a box, but this looks so much better.

Janna Qualman said...

You've made me hanker for my mom's beans and cornbread. :)

I may try this recipe!

Diane said...

That cornbread looked perfectly golden brown. Enjoyed it, I am sure. Have a great weekend! :O)

Angie Ledbetter said...

Ooooooweeeeeee! Yummy. Good healing soul food. :)

Jessica said...

Cute story from your childhood. :-)

Lori said...

Oh, I miss my mom's cornbread so much!

Barbara said...

YUM!! I love the tip about heating up the pan first. I love cornbread, but not being from the south, never did it with just beans. But I've seen a bunch of that lately on the blogs and, darn it, I just may have to try it! Thanks!

peenkfrik said...

I've had cornbread only a few times. Kinda sad that it is not so common where I'm from but I would love to have some again. Thanks for sharing the recipe. :)