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Sunday, 11 December 2011

Ol' Fashioned Cornbread

I have a huge packet of polenta I bought from a local speciality shop and I've been struggling to find uses for it. I mean, I could cook up the whole batch and freeze it and grill it, but that's just boring =P. So I've been trying to find recipes that will use up the packet before I leave next month. When I worked my magic with Google, I came across so many different things!! I didn't know polenta had so many uses!! Now I'm afraid i wont have enough polenta to make all these things hahaha.

One that came up quite frequently was cornbread, a southern US speciality. This is definitely something you don't come across in Oz, so I had no idea how it was gonna turn out or taste, nothing to compare it with really. I was a bit sceptical to make this as well due to the amount of butter that was used, but I was still keen to try it since I've heard alot about it so I went ahead and made it.

I can see why so much butter was used - it gave it quite a crispy crunchy coating which was nice. However I think it also made it quite salty, maybe should use unsalted butter next time. It tasted really nice! But I couldn't eat too much, I thought it was sorta heavy and, again, salty....and the fact that I knew how much butter went into it was a bit of a turn off =P. But I loved the corn-y taste (hahah that sounded funny =P), and I liked the texture. My brother thought it was cake when he first saw it and when he tasted it he didn't look too impressed =P. Actually, no one else in my family liked it that much....maybe because we're not familiar with it and it's not like we've tasted anything similar to it either.

Because of this, I had so much leftover....interesting thing is, when I was searching for uses for polenta, I also came across uses for cornbread. Stuffing seems to be the most common thing to do with cornbread, but it can also be used for salads, croutons, crumbing ...Apparently it can be eaten as both a savoury or sweet thing! Weird, because it's so salty....but yea, I saw suggestions to eat it for breakfast with maple syrup and berries....

Most recipes I came across required you to have a cast iron skillet, but I made do with a normal baking tin.

Adapted from the Pioneer Woman

1 cup yellow cornmeal (Polenta)
1/2 cup plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup buttermilk (Mix 240ml milk with 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice and let sit for 1/2 hr)
1/2 cup whole milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp butter

1. Preheat oven to 230C (450F). Combine cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Stir together.

2. Measure the buttermilk and milk in a measuring cup and add the egg. Stir together with a fork. Add the baking soda and stir.

3. Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork until combined.

4. In a small bowl, melt the 1/4 cup butter. Slowly add melted butter to the batter, stirring until just combined.

5. In an iron skillet (or baking tin), melt the remaining 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Pour the batter into the hot skillet. Spread to even out the surface. (Batter should sizzle.) - If you can't put your baking tin over the stove, just place the butter in the tin, place the tin in the oven, wait until it has all melted and then just swirl the pan to coat it. 

6. Cook on stovetop for 1 minute (unless you can't place on the stove =P then you just skip this), then bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. 

7. Remove from the oven, let it cool in the tin. Turn out on to a chopping board and cut into slices or fingers. 

So crispy and crunchy!! And I love the colour of it, so golden and yellow =).

Enjoy =D xx

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