Simply Cornbread!


I baked my first cornbread in 2007. I even remember the date because it was my first Thanksgiving dinner, four days after I moved to Southern California for good. I asked  about a typical Thanksgiving meal and cornbread seemed to be as mandatory as turkey, yams, mashed potatoes, green beans and pumpkin pie.

So, I found myself unpacking, registering the boys to go to their new school, getting familiar with my new house and town and researching for the best recipes to cook a complete Thanksgiving dinner. It was extenuating, but it was fun.
Of all the goodies, cornbread (and pumpkin pie) became one my favorites. First, because I love corn and everything corn related: from our typically Venezuelan arepas, hallaquitas, cachapas and of course hallacas, Italian polenta, Mexican tortillas and chips, corn ears… I am American and this continent is made of corn, from North America to the Argentinean Patagonia.

Cornbread is a classic Southern cuisine dish and Southern cuisine’s cornerstone is Native American corn culture. I found this recipe in Autumn by Joanne Wier, one of the Williams Sonoma Seasonal Celebration Series books, edited by Time Life, and I adopted and adapted it too!

We have cornbread warm with honey or butter on top. I like to bake it in an old and heavy cast iron skillet. At this time of the year we can have winter lentil soup and cornbread and that’s a whole fulfilling meal. I love the rough texture of the cornmeal and the flavor not salty, not sweet of this very simple and earthy bread… When dry, you can make crumbs for poultry stuffing.

Cornbread | Ingredients for 9 portions
1 ½ cups of cornmeal
1 ½ cups of flour
2 Tbs. of brown sugar
1 Tbs. of baking powder
1 Tsp. of salt
1 egg lightly beaten
1 cup of milk
1 ¼ cups of sour cream
1/3 cup of corn oil, plus some extra to brush the skillet
1 cup of sweet yellow corn kernel (1 to 2 ears)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the skillet with some oil. In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients and set aside. In another bowl, whisk the egg, milk, sour cream and oil. Fold into the flour mixture and add the corn. Do not over mix. Pour into the prepared skillet. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Transfer the skillet to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Cut into squares.

To print the recipe click here.

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