Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Breakfast Cornbread

Cornbread is a staple of Southern life, and not that sweet almost cake textured stuff.  It has to be a tad dense preferably made with yellow cornmeal, and served hot with melted butter.  Everybody knows baking it in a iron skillet is the preferred way to assure the crisp crust, and according to my grandmother you needed a dollop of bacon grease in the bottom of that pan.  I won't go that far with the purity of "real" cornbread, but you do need at least a couple of teaspoons of oil heated to sizzling in the bottom of the pan just prior to pouring the batter in it.

 When I happened on a recipe for Breakfast Cornbread I was very excited.  It sounded like the perfect lake food.  I am finding I really like a one dish meal for breakfast there and especially one that can have at least some of the components processed at home for a quick throw together meal .  I want to be able to sit on the porch drinking coffee while the meal virtually cooks itself.

Breakfast Cornbread

3/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk ( regular, no fat or buttermilk)
2  eggs beaten
1/4 cup oil ( I used sunflower)
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
1 log breakfast sausage cooked and drained ( I am not sure if it is sold in 12 or 16 ounce logs)
1 medium onion, diced

In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients and stir to blend well.  Add the milk, egg and oil then stir to combine well, but do not over mix. (Use a wooden spoon here, it's just easier).  Stir in the sausage, cheese and onions to evenly distribute. If using a cast iron skillet preheat the oven to 400 degrees.   Put a couple of teaspoons of oil in the pan  and stick it in the oven to heat, then pour the batter into it.  Bake until it is uniformly golden brown and the center is set. ( 20-25 minutes)
I was at the lake and don't have an iron skillet there__yet.  For a pyrex dish preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Wipe the pan with oil and pour the batter into the pan.  Bake for about 30 minutes until it is golden and the center is set.  Let cool a few minutes before cutting (or cut it piping hot but it WILL crumble badly)  We ate it exactly as it was without added butter or syrup (?) and called it delicious.  I can see making this quite a bit there.

We wrapped the leftovers and stuck them in the fridge to bring home.  Son3 ate it the next day and he thought it was fantastic also, and he is our pickiest eater.  Don't tell him he ate minced onions or he will declare it was not good!

If you have access to Martha White or White Lily Cornbread mixes you might want to use them to save a bit of combining stuff time.  I will probably combine all my dry ingredients at home, and will have the sausage cooked and drained and the cheese grated and refrigerated to just grab and pack.  Once there I will only have to dice the onion and add the wet ingredients.

If you like cornbread and like to try something different, I suggest you give this a whirl.

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