Welcome to austinagrodolce … My family and I garden with more intention and enthusiasm than allocated budget or overall design plan. It shows. Wildlife populations don't seem to notice our lack of cohesive design, they just like the native plants here. It seems by growing local we've thrown out a welcome mat. Occasionally, we're surprised at who (and what) shows up.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Extra Moist Cornbread

I asked my husband yesterday afternoon "Do you mind cornbread that has actual corn kernels in the batter?".

I asked this because I had it in mind to prepare an Extra Moist Cornbread recipe I found on the Serious Eats website. Partly because I had an unexplored aversion to eating cornbread with any extra ingredients in it, and partly because the author of the cookbook from which the recipe was taken has such a delightful name, I was determined to give this recipe a try.

It takes a while to make because you allow the batter to sit for 20 minutes before you put it into the oven. My cornbread baked up in about 35 minutes but they suggest baking time can take as long as 40 minutes, so you are not looking at a recipe that will qualify as "quick" by any means.

Even though we are all about slow(er) food and meals these days, I decided to make the cornbread a day ahead. As I was turning the fully cooled cornbread out of the pan it broke, so I took the opportunity to trim away the broken parts and taste. Delicious! My husband will be a happy man at dinner tonight - at least as far as the cornbread goes! The rest of my notes on this follow the recipe. I hope you'll want to give it a try.

Carroll’s Extra Moist Cornbread
Adapted from The Cornbread Gospels by Crescent Dragonwagon.

Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream (or full-fat, if you prefer)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup mild vegetable oil
1 cup canned creamed corn
2 eggs
1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with oil.

2. Place the sour cream in a large bowl; whisk in the baking soda to activate it. Then whisk in the remaining wet ingredients: the oil, creamed corn, and eggs. When thoroughly combined, sprinkle the cornmeal over the top.

3. Combine the cornstarch, baking powder, and salt in a small dish; sift over the cornmeal. Stir the whole thing together with as few strokes as possible, to just combine wet and dry.

4. Transfer the batter to the prepped pan. Let it stand at room temperature for 20 minutes, then pop it in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes. - makes 9 squares -Notes: My batch took about 35 minutes to bake. Now that I have seen how this turns out I would not hesitate to make additions to the batter as long as they themselves did not add too much additional moisture. If I was going to use a particularly wet ingredient, such as a can of chopped green chilies, I would reduce the amount of oil in the recipe by about half.

Chopped jalapeƱo pepper, some finely chopped fresh sage from the garden or a little bit of chopped cilantro, as examples of dry additions, would all work well in this moist corn dominant bread.

One word of caution - this product is very moist as the name implies, and therefore did not result in a cornbread that would fall neatly out of the pan in one piece. This is much more like cake, and without further help such as parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, it will be best to begin to cut the cornbread into squares and lift them out of the pan individually to serve.

It is delicious however, and I was not put off by the corn kernels in the batter at all. I can't wait to see how my husband likes it. I think he was a little disappointed last night when I told him he'd have to wait for the next night's dinner to get a taste. Sweet an-ti-ci-paaaaa-tion....

No comments: