Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Brief Tale of Corn, and Cornbread of Course!

From Cheap, Healthy, Good
Happy Thursday!  Tomorrow is Friday, and I have self-determined that by 8 AM my annoying case of the sniffles will be gone.  Instead of playing in the mountains and working on my fantastic tan line today, I spent the day watching a Disney movie and reading Stieg Larsson's murder mystery: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  While the day was fantastically relaxing, it was also rather unproductive.  Therefore, this post is my productivity for today.

Corn.  Discovered in Cuba by Christopher Columbus, corn was subsequently introduced to western civilization.  According to the boyfriend's current read: The Omnivore's Dilemma, corn is everywhere.  The stuff is so cheap, its made into adhesives, sweeteners, oils, clothing, livestock feed, and much more.  However, we primarily consume this versatile food unknowingly in its most processed forms.

Cornbread uses cornmeal, which can be found in two varieties: steel-ground and stone-ground.  Stone-ground cornmeal is the healthier choice as it retains some of the hull and germ (read: more fiber).  This recipe is another that I adjusted a bit from Cheap, Healthy, Good.  It goes perfect with some chicken chili!


  • 1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal, divided
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated white sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 7/8 cup low-fat buttermilk (3/4 cup plus two tablespoons)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • ½ tablespoon flour
  • 1/3 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • Oil to coat the pan
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey

1.       Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a 9-inch round cake pan with oil, and line the           bottom with parchment covered in more oil.
2.       To a medium bowl, add 1/3 cup cornmeal. Set aside.
3.       In a small bowl, combine remaining 2/3 cup cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Whisk it all together. Set aside.
4.       Go back to the first bowl, with the 1/3 cup cornmeal. Pour water into it. Stir until it's thoroughly combined and stiff. Slowly whisk in the buttermilk until the mixture is lump-less. Whisk in egg and butter. Pour the flour mixture into the cornmeal mixture and stir until everything is barely moist. (If desired, before adding batter to the pan, stir corn kernels with flour in a small bowl until just covered. Then, add corn to the batter, stirring lightly until just mixed.)
5.       Pour batter into pan and drizzle honey over the top. Bake 20 minutes or so, until it's risen slightly and top is golden brown. Remove from oven. Remove bread from pan. Cool on wire rack at least 5 minutes. Serve.

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