Monday, September 1, 2014

Easy Summer Recipe Part 2: Cornbread

Last time, I shared the recipe of a super-easy Pasta Salad to make for a big group meal, and this time, let me show you something even easier. Most people in Hong Kong probably have their first taste of cornbread at KFC, where it's offered one of the side dishes for their fried chicken meal, but this is almost as easy to make at home as to order one at the KFC counter.


While cornbread is perfect at barbecue - it's said that baby back ribs and cornbread are made for each other, it's as great serving as a side dish for any meat entrees, from grilled chicken to steak to lamb chops. And it's great as snack in between meals - re-heat in the oven and eat with a smear of butter, and you simply can't stop munching on those.  Most "authentic" recipe required buttermilk which may be hard to find in local grocery store, and this version uses only regular milk. As for the question of sugar, my personal preference is no-no (sticking with the true Southern tradition), but adding 1 tablespoon of sugar won't hurt especially if you have a sweet tooth - just make sure you don't have any true southerner tasting your dish.

As for the recipe, it can't get any easier. Just a short list of ingredients, and then follow the classic baking procedures - mixing dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls and then beat to combine. Pour the batter into a pan, pop it in the oven, and voila, you are done. Simply can't go wrong.



Recipe: Southern-Style Cornbread
(inspired by the recipe posted on Bob's Red Mill website)

(yields 1 8-inch square pan or 12 muffin size)

Ingredients:
1 cup of cornmeal
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 egg
1 cup of milk
1/4 cup butter (half a stick) melted

Procedures:
1. Pre-heat oven to 425F/210C. Grease a 8-inch square pan or 12 muffin pans and set aside.
2. Combine and mix all dry ingredients (cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt) in a bowl.
3. Combine all wet ingredients (egg, milk and butter) in another bowl. Whisk together, and then add in the dry ingredients.
4. Continue to beat using a whisk or wooden spatula until smooth. Do not overbeat.
5. Pour mixture into the square pan or spoon into muffin pan (up to half level) evenly. Put the pan into oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

It's best serve fresh from the oven or warm, with or without extra spread of butter.

This is part of the Easy Summer Recipe series where I shared a few recipes for summer parties that could be prepared in less than 30 minutes. Check out the rest of the series:
Part 1: Mediterranean-style Pasta Salad
Past 3: Cold-brewed Tea 
Part 4: Pear and Walnut Salad

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