Friday, February 22, 2013

Skillet Cornbread

We got some snow yesterday.  Like a foot.  For most working adults, a foot of snow means shoveling the car out of the driveway and navigating treacherous roads.  For those of us who work in the school system, a foot of snow means you can hit the snooze button because it's a snow day!  And if you're a foodie who has a snow day, that means spending all day in the kitchen.  And staying in your pajamas as long as humanly possible.  Maybe that last one's just me. I love wearing my PJ's.

Wardrobe aside, I think it should be a law that if you have the day off of work due to a massive snowstorm, you should be required to make soup.  Write your congressmen and women.  On this particular snow day, I chose my delicious very veggie beef and bean chili as my soup du jour (it's the soup of the day [and that's a Dumb and Dumber reference]).  I also think it should be a law that when you make chili, you must make cornbread.  With all these great ideas, maybe I should run for Congress!  I have a great go-to low fat cornbread recipe.  But yesterday, I felt like trying something new.  I've had skillet cornbread on my radar for a while, so it seemed like the day to give it a shot.  Could I have a new favorite cornbread recipe?

I just might.  To make cornbread in a skillet instead of a baking dish like I would normally do certainly wasn't difficult.  I just prepared the simple cornbread batter (although the ingredient quantities in this recipe do differ slightly from my usual recipe).  Then I melted a couple tablespoons of butter in my cast iron skillet and added a bit of sugar.  I poured the prepared batter onto the melted butter and sugar and baked it for a minute on the stove top, then finished it off in a hot oven.  

What I liked about this cornbread recipe in comparison my my usual recipe is that the butter and sugar mixture on the bottom of the pan makes a sort of sweet, buttery crust on the bottom of the bread when all is said and done.  It gives it a nice little boost of flavor.  Plus, I feel so rustic making cornbread in a cast iron skillet.  It seems like I should go sit by a fireplace and knit myself some socks, or go play a tune on my harmonica.  Unfortunately, I don't have a fireplace or a harmonica, and I can't knit.  I guess I will just have to stick with the skillet cornbread for now!
Good thing it's yummy!

Skillet Cornbread
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup skim milk
1 large egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup butter or margarine, plus 2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp sugar
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder and whisk until combined.
Measure buttermilk and milk in a large measuring cup.  Add the egg.  Whisk together.  Add baking soda and stir.
Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients.  Stir with fork just until combined.  Add 1/4 cup melted butter to mixture.  Stir just until combined.
In a cast iron skillet over high heat, melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.  Sprinkle with sugar.  Pour the batter into a hot skillet and spread to even out the surface.  Cook on the stovetop for 1 minute, then transfer to oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.  Slice and serve!

Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

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