Tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary of the last time I published a recipe that features corn, so I figured it was about time to share another.
We don’t eat corn often in our house – usually only popcorn on movie nights, and maybe corn tortillas or tamales when visiting our local Mexican restaurant, or sometimes a bowl of grits on cold mornings. Corn is not a particularly nutrient-dense food, but I think it’s a fine ingredient in the context of a nutrient-dense diet filled with all sorts of other good stuff – much like my take on eating rice.
As I develop recipes for cookbook #3, I’ve been experimenting with other corn dishes, and this Southern-style cornbread recipe is far and away my new favorite. First, I like to cook with the same stone-ground grits I use for making my own grits, so that I don’t have a million varieties of corn taking up space in my cupboard. I also love the heartiness, and slight grittiness, of grits-based cornbread – this is a far cry from the muffin-like cornbread you’ll find in the North.
But my favorite aspect of this skillet cornbread is its fleeting nature; right out of the oven, this cornbread is divine, but after an hour or so, its beauty wanes. This is the perfect dish to enjoy amongst friends, with big knobs of butter, and generous drizzles of honey.
Skillet Cornbread (Gluten-free)
2 cups (11 ounces, 315g) stone-ground yellow grits
1 tsp kosher salt
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
¾ tsp cream of tartar
2 cups buttermilk, whole-milk buttermilk preferred (see note below)
1 tbsp honey, more for drizzling
1 stick (8 tbsp) butter, more to serve
1. Place a 10” cast-iron skillet in the center of the oven, then preheat the oven to 400F. As the oven preheats, combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl; in a separate bowl, combine the wet ingredients and whisk until uniform.
2. Once the oven has come to temperature, add the butter to the skillet and bake until the butter is melted and a little browned, about 3 minutes. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients, whisking until just mixed (don’t overmix). Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and pour all but 1 tbsp of the browned butter into the cornbread batter, then whisk until just combined.
3. Pour the batter into the skillet then carefully transfer to the oven. Reduce heat to 375F and bake until the cornbread is golden brown and a knife comes away clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes then slice and serve warm with drizzled honey and more butter.
** Whole-milk buttermilk is easy to find in the South, but hard to find elsewhere. If you do not have access to whole-milk buttermilk, replace ½ cup of low-fat buttermilk with whole-milk sour cream.
** If you have a larger (12″ or so) skillet, the portions of ingredients will work just fine – your cornbread will be just a bit thinner.
** This cornbread will keep for a couple of days, stored in a re-sealable plastic bag. Be sure to reheat it before serving.
Note: In the year leading up to my new cookbook’s release, I will be regularly releasing these recipes to 1) maintain a continuing conversation with my readership and 2) give visitors to this site an opportunity to test and provide feedback before editing. For more information on this new approach, read my post here.