Last Saturday, inspired by the lovely breakfast I had last Thursday at Crave, I was looking for an excuse to cook something that could go well with cornbread.
So I planned a whole menu around the prospect of baking my hybrid--two recipes folded into one--adapted version of one of favorite cornbread recipes, taken from one of my most used kitchen resources: The Martha Stewart Cookbook : Collected Recipes for Every Day.
Out of all my Martha books--over 28 in total-- and after all these years--this particular book was published in 1995-- this is the one I always keep within reach. The recipes, over 1,600 of them, taken from nine of her top selling books, are all in one handy dandy volume for me to choose from. It can't get any easier than this.
Dinner would be baby back ribs with corn of the cob, potatoes and just baked cornbread on the side. This was not to be a gourmet but simple comfort food, true Americana.
And even though I do not eat cornbread often when I do it must be on the sweet side. Recalling Crave's Cheddar-Jalapeño Cornbread, I also wanted it to pack a little heat.
This version is not only easy enough to make but proved to be a lovely side to the tender and utterly delicious ribs-- marinated in molasses, red pepper flakes, plenty of garlic and pomegranate juice.
The result was a semi sweet, spicy loaf. This is not a wimpy cornbread so you better like cayenne. It baked nicely, with a buttery texture, nice crumb and a crusty, crunchy top that was just perfect.
1 ½ cups yellow cornmeal (Albers)
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour (White Lilly)
1/2 cup sugar (Baker's)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled (Horizon Organic)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F . Butter a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan or 36 tiny muffin tins.
2. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, cayenne and baking powder. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, butter and eggs. Stir the milk mixture into the dry ingredients until the ingredients are just incorporated.
3. Pour the batter into prepared pan or spoon into tiny muffin tins. Bake until golden, 30to 40 minutes for loaf, 18-to 20 minutes for muffins.
Makes 1 loaf or 9x5x3-inch loaf or 36 tiny muffins
***The cornbread was baked in my pretty yellow and now very discontinued color--perhaps you can find it on ebay?-- Emile Henri for Williams-Sonoma Auberge Loaf Pan. This is the same baking dish I used to bake Pierre Hermé's Chocolate Nut Loaf for SHF #4. This loaf pan along with every single piece of Emile Henri I have in my kitchen comes highly recommended. It performs brilliantly (almost like a non-stick) and stays looking like new (a snap to clean) after years of use and abuse.
Handcrafted in France’s Burgundy region, the earthenware pan offers superb heat conduction and retention, so foods bake evenly and stay hot at the table. Exceedingly strong, the pan is safe for oven, broiler or microwave use and even goes directly from freezer to oven. The hand-dipped glaze will not chip, crack or craze with time. Dishwasher safe. 1-qt. cap.; 9 1/2” x 5 3/4” x 3” high.