A black cast-iron skillet of cornbread is just about as Southern as you can get.
Cornbread has been around since the arrival of the Pilgrims. It is served for celebrations from Thanksgiving to the Fourth of July.
Other than the traditional wedge of buttered cornbread, this mouth-watering concoction can be baked as muffins, corn sticks and even fried into a cornbread patty.
My favorite cornbread memory is serving my husband his first meal I had prepared as a newlywed. Back in the day, I had a lot to learn about feeding this wonderful, but carnivorous man. After a day of shopping at our local farmers market, I had prepared a delicious meal of fresh vegetables.
The summer vegetable plate was absolutely gorgeous — squash, green beans with new potatoes, black-eyed peas, corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes and a wedge of hot buttered cornbread. I placed it before him with pride as I had never felt before. All those years of cooking at home and A’s in home economics classes had finally paid off. He looked at the plate I had placed before him and quite innocently said, “Where’s the meat?”
After explaining to him that it was a vegetable plate and there was no meat, he began to eat. He was probably wondering if he had really married the right girl. That was the first and last vegetable plate I ever served. To this day, if we are dining in a restaurant that features a vegetable plate, I remind him of that first meal.
My basic cornbread is simply combining an egg and buttermilk with enough self-rising cornmeal to come to the right consistency. These cornbread variations are a delicious way to “fancy up” this Southern delicacy.
Hope you will give them a try. Thanks for reading.
DADDY’S 5TH WIFE’S BLACK-EYED PEA CORNBREAD
1 (15-ounce) can Trappey’s jalapeno black-eyed peas (do not drain)
1 pound ground sausage
1 onion, chopped
¾ cup creamed corn
½ pound shredded cheddar cheese
½ cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
Brown onion and sausage. Drain well. Mix all ingredients. Pour into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam. Bake for 1-1½ hours until top is golden brown.
1 (8.5-ounce) package cornbread mix
1 pound crawfish tails
1 stick butter, melted
1 cup chopped onion
1 (10-ounce) can chopped Ro-Tel tomatoes, drained
1 cup grated Colby cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together, and pour into a 9-by-13-inch baking pan that has been sprayed with Pam. Bake for 40-45 minutes until top is golden brown.
2 (8-ounce) packages cornbread mix
2 sticks butter, melted
1 cup chopped onion
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped broccoli, partially cooked and well-drained
8 ounces cottage cheese
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and mix well. Let stand for 5 minutes. Pour into a greased 9-by-12-inch baking dish. Bake at 425 degrees for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.
(Instead of broccoli, substitute with frozen chopped spinach to make SPINACH CORNBREAD.)
- Contact Lee Ann Flemming at email@example.com.