Monday, January 25, 2010

Corny Perfection

It's usually too dry, or gritty. But when done right, cornbread is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

I think I may have finally done it right.

Using a base recipe from the dearly departed Domino magazine (RIP), I made a few tweaks and had cornbread that was moist with just a touch of maple-syrup sweetness and studded with salty bacon — the perfect foil for the syrup. Give it a try. I served it with corn-potato-bacon chowder because I like a themed meal.

Maple-bacon cornbread

• 1 tbsp butter, plus 4 tbsp butter, melted
• 8 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
• 2 scallions, sliced
• 1 1/2 cups milk (skim works just fine)
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
•1/2 cup maple syrup
•1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 425. Grease a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with the tablespoon of butter.

Heat a skillet and add the bacon, cooking until it begins to get crispy. Take off the heat and throw in the scallions.

In large bowl, combine, milk, egg, maple syrup and 4 tablespoons melted butter.

In a separate bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, soda and salt; stir.

Pour dry ingredients into the wet and stir just enough to combine. Pour into skillet and sprinkle with bacon and scallions. It's OK if you drizzle some bacon grease on top. In fact, it's more than OK if you do.

Bake about 20 minutes, until the middle is set.

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