Cornbread for the Collards

Cornbread for the Collards

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In our earlier post entitled “Mess of Collards” we shared the secret of making really tasty collard greens. Well, you can’t really have collard greens without cornbread to soak up the likker. Our cornbread has a different twist, however… it’s gluten free. And it’s gluten free not because it has to be but because these are absolutely the best ingredients with which to make this wonderful cornbread. Don’t be a chicken. Go ahead and give it a try. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for our new book “Mago at the Market” that will feature this and other wonderful recipes based on products of the markets that we love to visit.

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Ingredients

  • 2 TBS regular olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
  • 3/4 cup of white rice flour
  • 1 1/4 cups of corn meal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Q&A on those Ingredients

Patti: Is heating up the cast iron skillet really all that important?
Morgan (with a look of infinite patience): Of course. That’s how one gets the extra crunchy crust. Don’t skip this step!

Patti: Will everyone love this cornbread?
Morgan: Absolutely not. Cornbread is one of those things that everyone (at least from the South and West) grew up with. If it’s not exactly like your mother’s or your grandmother’s cornbread, then it won’t measure up. But if you like your cornbread slightly sweet, slightly salty, not too cakey, and not too dry… then this might be the cornbread for you.

Patti: What’s the most important thing to remember when making this cornbread?
Morgan: That everything is hot… the skillet, the oil, everything. Be careful not to burn yourself or splatter hot oil on someone else!

Getting Started

Position the oven rack into the top portion of the oven and preheat to 425F. While it’s preheating, put the regular olive oil into a cast iron skillet (ours is 12″ in diameter). Once the oven is preheated, put the cast iron skillet with oil into the oven for 10 minutes to let the oil heat up.

In the Meantime

Combine the buttermilk, eggs and extra virgin olive oil and beat them together with a fork or whisk. Next, combine all the dry ingredients together and make certain that they are well mixed. Just before the 10 minutes for heating the skillet is up, combine the wet and dry ingredients together. Don’t beat the batter to death, just enough to get the ingredients smoothly incorporated.

2015-08-27_170400_1270267-9020173The Final Act

Once the 10 minute timer goes off, carefully remove the hot skillet and pour the hot oil into your mixture, mix it all up to get the oil incorporated, then pour the mixture back into the hot skillet. Return the skillet to the oven and bake for 22 minutes. When the timer goes off, check to see if the top of the cornbread is golden brown, and if not, leave it in the oven a bit longer until it is.

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Is the Cast Iron Skillet Important?

Good question. And the answer is yes. If you don’t have a good cast iron skillet, then buy one. And good doesn’t mean expensive, it just means a heavy duty cast iron skillet that your grandchildren are going to fight over. We bought the one pictured above 40 years ago at an estate sale near Bethesda Maryland for $4.00. It’s now one of the treasures of our Montana kitchen. For more information about cast iron skillets including the best way to “season” them and subsequently clean them, check out the Lodge website (www.lodgemfg.com).

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