December 8, 2009
With my (almost*) new cast iron skillet, I knew one of the first things I wanted to try was my mom's cornbread recipe. I knew if I didn't use it to make something to satisfy my ravenous pregnant wife, she might use that big, heavy skillet upside the back of my head. The hormones are out of control. (Just kidding Honey!)
1 cup corn kernels (best if you cut it off fresh grilled corn)
For a 9 or 10 inch skillet, cut the ingredients by 1/3.
1Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs. After the eggs are foamy, add in the buttermilk and whisk some more. Pour the mixed eggs and buttermilk into the dry ingredients, add the corn and stir until the dry ingredients are just moist. Make sure you don't over stir. For reasons left for Alton Brown to explain, if you over-stir, you wind up with overly dense, chewy and somewhat flat cornbread. So don't be afraid to leave a few lumps. (If this were a baking website, I'd explain in great detail.)
2Heat the grill to 425° F.
3Put the cast iron skillet in place. At this point you can keep the skillet over direct heat, but set it up so you can move it to a indirect position (or turn off the burner that is under it if you are cooking with gas). Add the butter. When it starts to smoke, pour in the batter quickly. Move to indirect heat and close the grill. I left the temp at 425, and part of one side of the cornbread burned. Might be best to turn it down to 400 at this point to avoid overly crispy (read: black and burned) bottom. Check the bread after about 12 minutes. It takes about 12 to 20 minutes, depending on your grill, and how moist you like your bread. I like mine kinda goopy in the middle, so I prefer a shorter time. You can stick a toothpick in there to test how done it is. If it comes out wet, it can cook a bit longer (unless you like it goopy). If it comes out clean, then pull it from the grill.
4I like to butter it and add a bit of salt. It's also great with honey.
5If you want to kick it up a notch, add some seeded and minced jalapeño pepper and a cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese in place of the corn kernels.
6Enjoy and rest easy knowing that my wife is full and happy. For now.