Dear Peg (but really Todd),
Here is the recipe I use for cornbread.
Preheat oven to 400
Plop 1/4 C or slightly more vegetable shortening into a cast iron frying pan. We use the little one mostly--gives a fatter cake of bread. Heat the pan on top of the stove on very low and let the shortening melt. You can use lard or other animal fat for this part--that's traditional. I don't though.
1 C plain flour
1 C yellow plain cornmeal (did you know it also comes in self-rising?)
4 t baking powder
1 scant t of salt
Some folks add a little sugar to it, but I don't. If you want to try that, add about 1/4 cup.
Make a well in the middle and add in 2 beaten eggs, 1 C buttermilk.
Stir it up.
Pour most of the liquid shortening into the batter and stir it up, but here's the most important part of making good cornbread. Make sure there is a lot of liquid fat left in the pan. It should puddle in the bottom, not just gently grease bottom and sides. This will give you a crispier crust and the satisfying thwack of turning the cake onto a wooden board when it comes out of the oven.
The batter doesn't need to be perfectly smooth--it should be a little lumpy. Pour it into the pan and put it in the fast oven. It will be done in 20-40 minutes depending on the size of the pan.
When you take it out of the oven, turn it out immediately onto a wooden board or counter and then plate it up. Really whack it down and the cake will pop out with an unbroken crust.
Also, a bowl of beans or some soup or...
You get the point it is good with everything.
2 days ago