Crispy Cheesy Cornbread

So I’m sitting here trying to write a post about the yumminess of summer. All of my feeds – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WordPress – are blowing up with people blogging and photog-ing their bounty of the summer. Well, here in Calgary there may indeed be many bountiful treats, but up until yesterday, this was my reality:

A rainy day in Calgary-town

A rainy day in Calgary-town

I was really craving something…warm and comforting. I picked up yet another cookbook last week, this one locally written by the owner of the Skoki Lodge in Lake Louise, Alberta. There was a wonderful recipe for beef short ribs, which seemed like just the ticket to combat the rain. I followed the recipe pretty exactly, and the results were stellar; see for yourself:

Hmm Alberta beef...

Mmm Alberta beef…braised short ribs for the win

The ribs were super simple: start off by browning the ribs, then sweat your veggies, deglaze with wine and/or broth, add any aromatics and braising liquid, and then pop the ribs back in and into the oven. My pot is just a regular home-size pot (aka not industrial-sized), and I braised maybe 8 or 9 ribs; this was ALMOST a miscalculation on my part, since they only just fit in the pot. The ones on top I had to float the meaty bits in the liquid and have the bottoms not really in the liquid, but they still turned out fine!

The real star of the show, though, was the cornbread. I based the one I made from a recipe in the Skoki Lodge cookbook, but since I made significant changes to the recipe, I am proud to present to you, your dinner:

Feast on this tonight: cornbread for everyone!

Feast on this tonight: cornbread for everyone!

Slightly Spicy, Cheesy Cornbread, adapted from the Skoki Lodge Cookbook [this recipe makes enough to fill a 9×9 pan]

Ingredients

– 1¼ cup cornmeal

– 1 cup flour

– 1/3 cup sugar (I used ½ cup and I found that there was a lingering sweetness that was a bit unpleasant in this savoury cornbread; however, you can adjust this to suit your taste; I’ve seen recipes range from 2 Tbsp to ¾ cup)

– 2 tsp baking powder

– ½ tsp baking soda

– ½ tsp salt

– ½ cup butter, softened or melted (this is another area where you could cut down; I found the cornbread very, very buttery and I think this could be reduced by at least 1-2 Tbsp; if you are cutting down on the butter, make sure to increase the amount of the other liquid ingredients correspondingly)

– 2 eggs

– 1 can of creamed corn

– ¼ – ½ cup buttermilk

– 1 green onion, sliced

– 1 tsp chopped jalapeno

– 1 cup grated strong cheddar

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Butter a 9×9 pan, and butter it well – the best parts are the crunchy edges!

2. Mix the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large mixing bowl.

3. Beat the butter with a fork until it loses its shape and becomes less solid (I used butter from the fridge and melted it for 30 seconds, and then beat it with the fork until there were no solid lumps left). Make sure the butter is not hot, or else it will cook the eggs, and you will have gross scrambled egg cornbread.

4. Add the eggs to the butter, and mix well (make sure to break the yolks). Add in the creamed corn.

5. Add the butter mixture to the cornmeal mixture, stirring as you go. Add in the buttermilk until the mixture resembles wet sand: it should be thick and wetly gloopy. I used ¼ cup of buttermilk.

6. Add in the green onions and jalapenos, and 2/3 cup of the cheddar; mix it up good, and dump the whole lot into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar on top; it might be nice to decorate the top with a few remaining slivers of green onion, or even a little sprinkle of cayenne.

7. Bake dish for around 30-50 minutes; I know this is a big range, but I’ve seen recipes that called for anywhere between 25-50 minutes. I took my cornbread out at 25, and then realized too late it wasn’t cooked through, and had to toss it back in for another half hour (it had cooled in the meanwhile). Best practice is to check it at 30 minutes, and then every 5-10 minutes thereafter; unfortunately, this really just depends on your own oven! The best way to test is to put a knife all the way through in the middle of the pan (not the edges, since they cook first); if it comes out gloop-free, you’re in the money!

Cornbread deliciousness, with a crunchy, cheesy crust

Cornbread deliciousness, with a crunchy, cheesy crust

If you end up making your cornbread in individual little tins, obviously it will need less time in the oven. There are so so many different variations on cornbread: you can add sausage, apples, tomatoes, or even just leave it plain. I’d love to hear your favourites!

Stay delicious folks! ;)

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