Monday, March 4, 2013

Black Pepper-Green Onion Cornbread

I love beans and cornbread.  Plain old pinto beans with onions and maybe some ground beef--a bit of ham if you're flush.  I make them when life is fine and when life is low. I crumble cornbread into the beans or I butter it up and have it leftover with my coffee of a morning.  It is comfort food par excellence.  And, oh, by the way, it's simple and filling.  Honey?  Yes.  But not required.

If you're tired of your sweet cornbread, or wish for one of the grittier experiences of dining life, try this: 

black pepper-green onion cornbread

1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal+
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter (plus a little more to grease pan)
1 teaspoon minced green onion

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Heat a medium-sized cast-iron skillet* over medium flame with a teaspoon of butter.    Mix dry ingredients together (cornmeal - sugar) in a large bowl.  In a  2 cup measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and butter.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Add green onion to hot skillet.  Brush (or swirl) the butter and onions around in the pan.   Pour in batter and let cook a minute or two until bubbly.  Place skillet in oven and bake 20 minutes or until just golden and barely firm.  Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or cold.  (Served cold, crumbled in buttermilk, was my dad's favorite snack.)

+If you like it even grittier, change the proportions to 1 1/2 cups cornmeal and 1/2 cup all purpose flour.

*If you haven't a cast iron skillet, put a 9" metal or glass pan in the oven for a few minutes with the bit of butter to melt and proceed from there.  Get a cast iron pan when you can. 

Have fun cooking and taking care of yourself,

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