Here’s a recipe I’ve been meaning to share with you for a while.
My father (an enthusiastic cook and major influence on my culinary interests) introduced me to skillet cornbread from a recipe he tore from the pages of Gourmet magazine. It was one of his favourites, and whenever I visited him, he always had a few slices in the freezer from a recent batch. Since learning his recipe, I’ve tried numerous variations and finally settled on a my own definitive version. I love the grainy texture of this corn bread, the hint of sweetness and the chewy, buttery exterior. This quick bread makes a perfect breakfast snack, drizzled with maple syrup or honey. It’s also an ideal side for Mexican scrambled eggs, avocado salsa or spicy beans.
The “sizzle” step gives the preparation an extra flourish that’ll make you look like a master chef, even if you’re just an ordinary girl trying to make your boyfriend happy on a Sunday morning.
Sizzling Skillet Corn Bread
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour (whole wheat is fine, or half & half, which I also do)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons icing sugar (you can add more to adjust sweetness or try 1/4 honey)
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter*
Preheat oven to 425 F
In a large bowl combing corn meal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a small bowl, combine the oil, sugar, buttermilk and egg, beating the ingredients until they are thoroughly mixed. Add the buttermilk mixture to the cornmeal mixture, stirring until just combined.
In a skillet, melt the butter, tipping the skillet to coat the sides. Add the cornmeal mixture to the pan– you’ll hear it sizzle — then put it immediately into the oven.
Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
(May it your own: For a more exotic savoury flare, you can always add grated cheese on top and toss in some jalepenos, or for a sweet breakfast treat, amp up the sugar.)
*Note: You can omit the sizzle part, if you are trying to avoid fat from butter, and believe me, this bread is terrific without it. In fact, my Dad’s original recipe omitted this step. I just like the texture it gives to the crust.