I have found one of my personal niches in the community… a spot on the Meal Train. Several friends have used the site to organize friends after the birth of a baby, or to mobilize pals when another friend falls ill. The site is great, and private, and helps us all help each other. I find that I always tend to make the same meal when I’m on the meal train, too- Meg Rajala’s Chili and cornbread. My loyal readers know about the ubiquitous chili, but I realized when searching for the cornbread recipe this last time, I had given away my copy, and I haven’t blogged about it. The last time I made it I used fresh sweet corn, and it got rave reviews from V, (new baby’s Mamma), saying it was a hit with her family. I think it’s time to publish my modifications of this recipe. The original recipe is from Cooks Illustrated, and I’ll use their quantities, though I rarely make less than a triple batch of this (two for the meal train, to go with the humongous vat of chili, one for us at home).
- 8 inch square Pyrex baking dish
- small saucepan or microwaveable dish (for melting butter)
- two large bowls
- dry measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- liquid measuring cup
- silicon or rubber spatula
- electric mixer (optional) (Cooks Illustrated uses a food processor to liquefy the corn with the wet ingredients; I like the chunky corn kernels in the bread)
- cooking spray
- cutting board
- chef’s knife
- 1 or 2 ears of fresh sweet corn, depending on size (or 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed)
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour (7.5 ounces)
- 1 cup cornmeal (5.5 ounces) I like the stone ground kind, unlike Cooks Illustrated
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (1.75 ounces)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 large eggs
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease Pyrex baking dish with cooking spray.
- Melt the butter. It will cool slightly while you prep the other ingredients.
- Cut corn kernels off cobs with chef’s knife and cutting board. Remove any pieces of silk that might be amongst the corn kernels.
- Mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl with a whisk until well combined.
- Mix sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and corn kernels together in a large bowl (in the mixer or with the whisk) until they are combined.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients, and pour in the wet mixture. Start stirring with the silicon spatula, combining as for any quick bread. After a few strokes, add the melted butter, and continue mixing until the dry ingredients are just moistened.
- Put the batter in the prepared dish, smoothing the top with the spatula.
- Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 25-35 minutes.
- Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.