(Thank you, Chris Rock.)
I’ve had a hankerin’ for lots of corny things since even before we tried to punk out on this unyielding winter. While enjoying the local fruits, vegetables, and grains in Mexico, we made a batch of esquites, got our hands on a tamal or two. (Oddly, not a drop of pozole this time, but we made up for that in previous trips.)
Maybe it’s thanks to the wintry weather still in full force in Germany (though with not so much snow in Regensburg — the #expatweathernetwork indicates the rest of Germany has been getting pounded while we’ve received a mere dusting). Or maybe we just didn’t get enough corn intake while we had the chance. But I’ve been chomping at the bit for some old-fashion savory skillet cornbread.
Here’s what I did — with thanks to the Homesick Texan for the inspiration.
2 cups (396 g) of cornmeal (yellow or white)
½ cup (69 g) sifted flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk*
2 tablespoons bacon drippings or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon or so of cracked pepper (thinking about additional spices here — maybe some cayenne?)
Preheat oven to 450 °F / 232 °C. Put the drippings or oil in a large (10-inch) cast-iron skillet and place it in the oven for a few minutes until it’s sizzling. Mix together dry ingredients. Set aside. Beat the egg into your beaker of buttermilk. Mix with dry ingredients.
Take cast iron skillet out of oven, and pour hot oil into batter, and mix. Pour batter into cast iron skillet, bake in oven for 25 minutes. Cornbread should be brown on top and pulling away from the sides of the skillet. There may still be some oil bubbling away on the top of the loaf. If it passes the toothpick test though, it’s done.
*Oh no, you live where the Pope
is was from and it’s Good Friday and you forgot to buy buttermilk? Don’t fret. Add a tablespoon of plain white vinegar or lemon juice to a cup (237 ml) — minus one tablespoon — of milk. Scale up or down as necessary. Stir it around. It’ll get good and chunky right quick.