Like the baguette is to the French, cornbread is to the South-a comforting mainstay. Cornbread can be served sweet or plain, for lunch or dinner, with butter, molasses, or even honey, so long as it's served! I've found that baking cornbread in a cast-iron skillet helps the bread cook more evenly. Once you've seasoned your skillet, your cornbread will bake perfectly every time.
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon oil or melted lard or bacon grease
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar, optional
Preheat oven to 425*F
In a large bowl, mix the oil and eggs together until well blended. Stir in the buttermilk and baking soda. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour and salt together until well combined. Add the cornmeal mixture to the egg mixture, mixing well, about 5 minutes. The batter will be thick but thin enough to pour into the pan.
Place the remaining tablespoon of oil in an 8-inch cast iron skillet and heat in the oven for 5 minutes, or until the skillet is hot.
Remove the hot skillet from the oven and immediately pour in the cornbread batter. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Serve with butter, molasses, honey or a big pot of beans.
For more recipes like these, please pick up a copy of Chef Jennifer's cookbooks; Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent, and Dinner Deja Vu: Southern Recipes with a French Accent.