Saturday, 18 July 2015

Cornbread with Bacon and Pepper Jack Cheese

This is my go to cornbread recipe, adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook (Julie Rosso and Sheila Lukins with Michael McLaughlin). It is quick and easy to make, a perfect moist yet crumbly texture, soaks up sauces very well and is very adaptable to changes in some of the ingredients.

There is only one downside to this cornbread, in my opinion, and that being that it doesn't keep well. This isn't usually a problem though, as we usually manage to eat it all! I made this to serve with the
Apple Braised Country Style Pork Ribs with Apple BBQ Sauce.

Start off by pre-heating the oven to 350F and lining an 8" X 8" pan with parchment paper. This makes removing the cornbread from the pan effortless, and allows you to cut and serve it very easily.

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients:

1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Whisk together the wet ingredients:

1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
3 ounces melted butter, that has cooled

Add to the dry ingredients:

4 rashers of bacon, diced and cooked until crispy
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup grated pepper Jack cheese

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until the top starts to crack and go golden, and a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Allow the cornbread to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before using the parchment paper overhangs to lift the cornbread out of the pan and onto a cutting board.

                                Cut into squares and serve while it is still warm.

  • The original recipe calls for buttermilk, but I didn't have any so I combined sour cream and milk. This resulted in a richer cornbread. Yoghurt can be used with the milk, the milk can be soured with lemon juice or vinegar.
  • If you are using salted butter, omit the salt. There is enough salt in the butter as well as in the cheese and bacon.
  • Variations on the recipe include: omit the bacon and use chopped green onions; sprinkle the cheese on top of the batter instead of mixing it in; use grilled corn on the cob instead of flavoured corn; dice pickled jalapenos and add to the  batter; mix 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce from canned chipotle chilies into the liquid ingredients and add some minced chipotle to the batter; dried spices such as cumin, ancho chili or cayenne can be added to the dry ingredients.
  • Serve the cornbread with pulled pork, baked beans, chili...anything with sauce. It can also be served with soup.
  • Place dollops of the batter on top of a thick chili and bake to create a 'cobbler' style dish.
  • Freeze leftover cornbread to use for stuffing, as I did for the Roasted Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Cornbread and Spinach.
  • Use olive oil, vegetable oil or avocado oil instead of butter. You need 6 tablespoons of oil.

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