Cornbread, for you and me


RightCowLeftCoast, Wikimedia Commons

Take some homemade cornbread out of the oven on a cold, blustery day and there will be smiles all around.

 

Every once in a while, I get a craving for some fresh-baked cornbread.


Some folks like it very coarse, with very little flour and without a bit of sugar. Others prefer the sweeter, light-textured type that is more like cake. I like them both, but I find somewhere in the middle is much more versatile.


Cornbread pairs well with chili, just about any type of bean dish, many soups and stews, and even just all by itself, slathered with some butter. There is even a recipe called cornbread salad, although I have not tried it yet. It looks good, and it has been recommended by people I know, so I will go ahead and include it here.


I hope you are all well and managing to keep warm. I’ve been staying home a lot and having fun with some jigsaw puzzles. If I don’t watch myself, though, I might end up with nearly as many puzzles as I have recipes. Luckily, recipes are much easier to store.


Cornbread salad


1 recipe of cornbread, baked and cooled


1 envelope ranch dressing mix


1 cup (8-oz.) sour cream


1 cup mayonnaise


2 cans (16-oz. each) pinto beans, or use black beans


2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


10 slices bacon, cooked very crisp, crumbled


2 cans whole-kernel corn, drained


1/2 cup each chopped red bell pepper, green bell pepper, green onions and chopped tomatoes


1. Stir together salad dressing mix, sour cream and mayonnaise until blended; set aside. Combine tomatoes, bell peppers and onions. Toss gently. Crumble half the cornbread into a large bowl.


2. Top with half each of beans, tomato mixture, cheese, bacon, corn and dressing mixture. Repeat layers. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours. When ready to serve, stir the whole mess together! I have heard that this is also great without the ranch dressing package mix. Plus, you may add any veggies you want.


Cornbread cake


This is made from mixes, so is very easy to prepare. Additional ingredients to prepare both mixes as per directions.


1 box (9-oz.) Jiffy cornbread mix


1 box (9-oz.) Jiffy golden yellow cake mix


1. Mix each box according to package directions and then gently fold the batters together.


2. Bake according to the directions on the cake mix box. Serve with honey butter, if desired.

Honey butter


1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened to room temperature


1/4 cup mild honey


1. In mixing bowl, thoroughly blend the butter and honey until well mixed.


Cornbread


My favorite recipe that I have been using since 1962. Nice texture, not too dry. Using bacon fat adds a nice flavor if you like bacon.


1 egg


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk


1/2 cup flour


1 cup yellow corn meal


2 tablespoons sugar


3 teaspoons baking powder


1 teaspoon salt


3 tablespoons shortening (I use vegetable oil)


1. Preheat oven to 450 (I find that 400 is hot enough). Generously grease 12 muffin pan cups or corn stick pans, or a square 8-or-9-inch baking pan. Heat in oven while mixing batter.


2. In a medium mixing bowl, mix flour, corn meal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, beat the egg, then add the milk and oil (or shortening, if using). You can melt the shortening a little to help it blend better.


3. Add the dry ingredients to the milk mixture and beat with a rotary beater just until smooth. (I always use a wooden spoon.)


4. Pour batter into hot pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes for corn sticks or muffins, 20 to 25 minutes for cornbread. Serve hot.


Cheesy cornbread with peppers and corn


1 cup self-rising white cornmeal *


1/2 cup self-rising flour *


3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese


2 green onions, sliced


1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper (mix red and green ones for color, if desired)


1 can (6-oz.) chopped green chilies


2 eggs, beaten


1 can (8-oz.) cream-style corn


1/4 cup milk


*If you can’t find self-rising cornmeal, see recipe below. Same goes for the self-rising flour.


1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9-by-9-inch baking pan or use a springform pan.


2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, cheese, green onions, bell pepper and canned green peppers, until well blended.


3. Stir in the eggs, corn and milk, then spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Makes 6 servings.


Self-rising cornmeal


2 cups yellow or white cornmeal, finely ground


8 tablespoons all-purpose flour


2 1/2 tablespoons baking powder (fresh, not more than 3 months old for best results)


3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt


1. Mix all ingredients well and store in an airtight container until ready to use.


Self-rising flour


1 cup all-purpose flour


1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder


1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Mix all ingredients well and store in airtight container until ready to use.

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