As many of you know, we are fond of saying that “recipes are guidelines.” But sometimes rules are rules. These are Stuart’s three rules for cornbread: 1) It MUST be made in a cast iron skillet. 2) It MUST contain buttermilk. 3) It must NOT contain chili peppers.
And that, ladies and gentleman, brings us to the Recipe of the Month.
Our favorite recipe for the perfect cornbread comes from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. She was gracious enough to let us reprint it here.
Buttermilk Skillet Corn Bread
3 Tablespoons butter
1 cup flour
1 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons sugar or honey
2 cups buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 3750. Put the butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and place in the oven while you get everything else together. Sift the dry ingredients in one bowl and mix the eggs, sugar and buttermilk in another. Remove the pan from the oven, brush the butter over the sides, then pour the rest into the wet ingredients. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, and stir long enough to make a smooth batter. Pour the batter into the hot pan and bake until lightly browned and springy to the touch, 25 to 30 minutes.
Bonus recipe from Stuart! Have left over cornbread? (First thing to do is ask why!) But I’ll admit, it happens sometimes. Quarter a pint of strawberries and place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with 1/8th cup of sugar (white or brown) and 1 oz. of whiskey (something on the sweeter side like an Irish whiskey, nothing too smoky.) Toss in the bowl and let sit for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cut a square of cornbread in half horizontally. Toast in a toaster oven on a medium setting. When done, place the cornbread in a bowl, top with some strawberries and their resulting liquid and then with either whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.