Taste of the Town: Cornbread in Cast Iron Skillet

On this episode of Taste of the Town, it’s all things cornbread. Host Marjorie Wordlaw invites viewers into her kitchen where she shares how to make cornbread three ways: southern-style cornbread from scratch, creamed corn cornbread and cornbread with butter, bacon and honey.

Southern Style Buttermilk Cornbread in Cast Iron Skillet

2 cups self-rising cornmeal (some brands may say cornmeal mix and have buttermilk in it, that’s fine, but you will still need to add the liquid buttermilk)

¼ – ½ cup self-rising or all-purpose flour

1-2 tablespoons sugar, optional (if you prefer a sweeter cornbread)

2 eggs

2 ¼ cups buttermilk (whole milk is best but low-fat works too)

4 – 6 tablespoons butter (use four if also using bacon fat)

2 tablespoons bacon fat or drippings (optional, but great flavor!)

Cooking Spray

Directions: Preheat oven to 425. In a 10 – 12” cast iron skillet sprayed with cooking spray, melt the butter and bacon fat over medium heat, don’t let the butter burn, while you prepare the cornbread. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and stir by hand to combine, then slowly add about half of the buttermilk mixing well, then add the remainder of the buttermilk. You want to have an easy-to-stir mixture but if batter appears too thick, add more buttermilk, a little at a time. If batter is too thin add a little more cornmeal. Next, add eggs and stir in well. Remove skillet from heat but swirl butter and bacon fat to combine and coat skillet well, then carefully pour about half into the cornbread mixture. Turn the stovetop off but place skillet back on the eye so it remains hot. (If you used the oven to melt the butter/fat, place skillet back in oven to retain the heat). Stir in the melted butter and bacon fat then pour into the hot skillet, you should hear a sizzle – this ensures your getting that crispy buttery bottom crust. Bake in oven for approximately 25 minutes, starting on lower rack then moving to middle rack about halfway through the cooking time, cornbread should just be starting to get color on top. When golden brown remove from oven and while hot, take a stick of butter and coat the top of the cornbread. Next, carefully place an inverted plate over the top of the skillet and flip the cornbread, then place the top side down into the skillet with the residual heat sealing the butter into the cornbread. Now on the crispy ‘bottom’ crust, do the same with the stick of butter. Slice and enjoy while hot! Serves 8 – 10 Other pans can be used but won’t achieve same crispy bottom.

RELATED: Taste of the Town: Chicken Thighs with Herbs and Garlic Butter Sauce

Creamed Corn Cornbread – Southern Style

2 cups self-rising cornmeal (some brands may say cornmeal mix and have buttermilk in it, that’s fine, but you will still need to add the liquid buttermilk)

¼ – ½ cup self-rising or all-purpose flour

1-2 tablespoons sugar, optional (if you prefer a sweeter cornbread)

2 eggs

2 ¼ cups buttermilk (whole milk is best but low fat works too)

4 – 6 tablespoons butter (use four if also using bacon fat)

2 tablespoons bacon fat or drippings (optional, but great flavor!)

2 – 3 tablespoons melted butter for drizzling on top

1 – 14.75 oz can creamed style corn

1 – 8 oz container full fat sour cream

½ cup each, 5 cheese Italian blend cheese and sharp cheddar

Cooking Spray

Directions: Preheat oven to 425. In a large cast iron skillet sprayed with cooking spray, melt the butter and bacon fat over medium heat, don’t let the butter burn, while you prepare the cornbread. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and stir by hand to combine, then slowly add about half of the buttermilk mixing well, then adding the remainder of the buttermilk. You want to have an easy to stir mixture but if batter appears too thick, add more buttermilk, a little at a time. If batter is too thin add a little more cornmeal then add eggs and mix well. Next add the corn and the sour cream stirring and mixing in the cheeses last. Remove skillet from heat swirling butter and bacon fat to combine and coat skillet, then carefully pour about half into the cornbread mixture. Turn the stove top off but place skillet back on the eye so it remains hot. Stir the melted butter and bacon fat into the batter then pour into the hot skillet, you should hear a sizzle, this ensures you’re getting that crispy buttery bottom crust. Bake in oven for approximately 30/35 minutes, starting on lower rack then moving to middle rack about halfway through the cooking time, cornbread should just be starting to get color on top. When golden brown remove from oven and while hot drizzle the top of the cornbread with the melted butter. Cornbread should have a softer, creamy consistency inside when cut although you’ll know it’s completely cooked. Serves about 10. Optional: This is a great base for adding other ingredients such as crumbled cooked sausage, sliced green onions, jalapenos, etc.

RELATED: Taste of the Town: Sausage and Shrimp in Foil Packets

Cornbread Appetizer with Bacon, Butter, Honey & Jalapenos

1 cup self-rising cornmeal (some brands may say cornmeal mix and have buttermilk in it, that’s fine, but you will still need to add the liquid buttermilk)

¼ cup self-rising or all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1 large egg

1 ¼ cups buttermilk (whole milk is best but low fat works too)

2 – 3 tablespoons butter

1 -2 tablespoons bacon fat or drippings or vegetable oil (bacon fat gives great flavor!)

6 tablespoons butter, melted 2 for batter, 4 for drizzling

8 slices cooked bacon, chopped

1 large fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped

Honey for drizzling

Cooking Spray

Directions: Preheat oven to 425. In a 10” cast iron skillet or specialty sectioned skillet sprayed with cooking spray, melt the butter and bacon fat over medium heat, don’t let the butter burn, while you prepare the cornbread mixture. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl and stir by hand to combine, then slowly add the buttermilk mixing well. If batter appears too thick, add more buttermilk a little at a time, or if batter is too thin add a little more cornmeal. Next add the egg and stir well; if using a sectioned skillet, add 2 tablespoons of the melted butter to the batter. Otherwise, remove skillet from heat swirling butter and bacon fat to combine and coat skillet. If using a sectioned skillet, spray with cooking spray then heat the skillet and brush each section generously with the butter and bacon fat, then carefully fill each section. For the skillet turn the stove top off but place skillet back on the eye so it remains hot. Stir half the melted butter and bacon fat into the batter then pour into the hot skillet. Bake in oven for approximately 20/25 minutes, starting on lower rack then moving to middle rack about halfway through the cooking time, cornbread should just be starting to get color on top. When golden brown remove from oven and drizzle the melted butter over the hot cornbread. Take individual servings or slices from pan and top with the bacon, jalapenos and drizzle with lots of honey. Serves 8. Optional: Use biscuit or cookie cutters for fun shapes and top with sliced green onions, chopped country ham, roasted shrimp, etc. Have fun experimenting and Enjoy!

Taste of the Town airs on BNC Saturday and Sundays at 10 AM ET.

 

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