Cornbread says fall to me and it's tradition here in my home to make it along with a big pot of chile for Halloween. We're in a neighborhood with lots of kiddos, so turning off the light and going out is not an option for Halloween night.
I like dry savory cornbread, hot and slathered with lots of butter, and thought I'd found the "best" recipe ever until I tried this one on Friday night. It's from the King Arthur's Baker's Companion cookbook, and even though the instructions say to bake it in an 8-inch square pan, there's nothing better than cast iron in my book. I also substituted bacon grease for the oil. I know, I know, you're thinking "Horrors!" Get over it, and use it. You'll have it leftover anyway after you fry the bacon. See look at that cornbread in the skillet, don't you want to grab that wedge right now?
Try this recipe, and let me know what you think.
Bacon Cheddar Cornbread
This recipe uses the spice cumin, which has a warm, toasty flavor. Cumin is popular in chile recipes, but it isn't hot at all. Fresh or frozen corn will work for this recipe, and both are equally good. So don't wait until summer to make it.
1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (3 5/8 ounces) yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 large egg, beaten
1 cup (8 ounces) milk
1/4cup (1 3/4 ounces) vegetable oil (I used bacon grease)
1 cup (4 3/4 ounces) cooked or thawed corn kernals (I used canned corn)
6 ounces (6-7 slices) bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 cup (4 ounces) grated cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease an 8-inch square pan (or wait and use a little bacon grease in your cast iron skillet)
Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cumin in a medium-sized bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and vegetable oil (or bacon grease) and add to the dry ingredients. Stir in the corn, bacon, and cheese.
Spread the batter in the pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until it's golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove it from the oven and cool on a rack. (or gobble it up HOT!)
Confession: I doubled this recipe and I was so excited to try it, I forgot to add the cheese. I know, "What a dope, that's the kicker in this recipe!" To compensate, I sliced open a wedge, laid on a piece of cheddar and popped it under the broiler. Yum! You wouldn't believe how good it is served with chile. We've also been enjoying it leftvoer for breakfast, toasted and slathered with butter.