Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cast Iron Cornbread

Do you have a cast iron skillet? I've had one for about a year. We joke that it was probably one of the biggest days in 2012 for us (before all the baby excitement, that is). In one crazy post-Christmas shopping day experience, I purchased my beloved Le Creuset (big red pot that makes its appearance in about every other post), my "apple child" (iPad) and we threw a cast iron pan in the mix just for fun.  Good things come in threes, right?

The cast iron skillet: easy to clean, even heat distribution, provides great sears and can be used for just about anything. It's a contender for making it into the new born shots when baby Ritter is born. Okay, I'm kidding... well maybe not. But you can see how much I love it.

One thing it does well is...

CORNBREAD.  Perfect crust.  Perfectly savory sweet.  Perfectly corny (in the foodie way). :-)

Cast Iron Cornbread (adapted from Alex Guarnaschelli)

1 1/4 coarsely ground cornmeal
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/3 granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup low fat milk
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
8 tbls unsalted butter, (7 tbls melted, 1 held out)

Begin by heating your oven to 425.  Place your cast iron skillet IN THE OVEN to heat it.

Mix together the dry ingredients in one bowl.

Mix together the wet ingredients (including the melted 7 tbls of butter) in another bowl.

Carefully remove the cast iron skillet from the oven.  Turn the oven DOWN to 375.

Put your remaining pad of butter in the hot skillet.  I LOVE this sound.  It's music to a chef's ears.

Using oven mitts to handle the skillet, swirl the butter around so the entire surface is covered.

Whisk the wet and dry ingredients together.  Pour into hot pan.

The edges will start to cook.  I'm getting exciting!

Into the oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.  Test with a tooth-pick for doneness. 

Meanwhile, tend to the rest of dinner.  I had put a pot of chili on.  It's my favorite turkey chili.  Have you made it yet?  Sooooo yummy.  Make ahead and freeze for an easy meal after Christmas shopping.

Okay, the cornbread is ready!  Oh it smells divine!  Exercise self control for another 10 minutes to let cool.

Sprinkle with sugar to finish.  Slice it up.  I love a little local honey on mine.  Jam would also be wonderful.  Or just crumble it into the chili.  You can't go wrong!

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