Make Cornbread – Savoury and sweet

Cornbread. Southern States. The Green Mile. Comfort food. Wholesome. The word cornbread just feels round and nice in your mouth. You say it with warm, drawn-out Rrrr sounds. Southern States remember? I think of the movie The Green Mile and how cornbread was presented as a heartwarming thank you present.

John Coffey: I’m smellin’ me some cornbread.
Paul Edgecomb: It’s from my missus. She wanted to thank you.
John Coffey: Thank me for what?
Paul Edgecomb: Well, you know…
Paul Edgecomb: For a helping me.
John Coffey: Helping you with what?
Paul Edgecomb: You know.
John Coffey: Ohh. Was your missus pleased?
Paul Edgecomb: Several times.

We don’t eat cornbread here in New Zealand but they talk about it so much in the movies that I’ve always wanted to try it. I always assumed it was a bread eaten in place of a bread roll for hearty meals. But now I see that it has more of a cake texture.

I used the basic cornbread recipe over at The Fresh Loaf only I used polenta instead of corn meal. I have nothing to compare to since I’ve never had cornbread, but I think polenta is just a coarser (and Italian) version of cornmeal.

Cornbread is unexpectedly filling. Serve half what you think you will need. You can easily go back for seconds if you aren’t satisfied.

Cornbread French Toast

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces of cornbread
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup full cream milk or cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • A smear of Vanilla paste (or few drops of vanilla essence)
  • A pat of butter

To serve

  • Golden syrup and sliced banana or fresh berries

Preparation

  1. Cut cornbread into fat fingers.
  2. Add egg and add milk, sugar and vanilla to a mixing bowl and beat well. Soak cornbread pieces in egg mixture for a minute.
  3. Heat a skillet and add a pat of butter. Carefully transfer cornbread to skillet and fry on each surface until golden.
  4. Serve with golden syrup and fresh fruit.

We also enjoyed the cornbread with a big ol pot of home made chili. Check here for details.

This post is an entry for Sweet New Zealand, a monthly blogging event open to all Kiwi bloggers. Founded by Alessandra Zecchini, this month’s event is hosted by the lovely Emma over at My Darling Lemon Thyme. See here for more info on this month’s event.

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22 responses

  1. I applaud you for making something without a reference to something that you have had before! Cornbread is indeed more or a “cake” than a yeasty bread. My father’s side of the family is from the American South, so I am well-versed in the whole cornbread debate! Some people swear that it must be made in a cast-iron skillet. Some like it sweet, some like it more savory, some like it dense, some like it really crumbly. Some like yellow corn, some like white corn.

    Some like it in muffins. (the horror!)

    But everyone likes it with chili ;-)

    And I have to say that I do live and die by the creed that if you know beans about chili, you know chili ain’t got no beans!

    • I am totally obsessed with Southern food. I can’t explain it since it isn’t all that familiar to me. It must be strange to think that the comfort food of the south is exotic to people in other parts of the world!

      One day I will make chili sans beans. And you know, I’ll probably like it.

      • It’s true though! Comfort food is so subjective. For me, comfort food is fried rice and steamed fish because my mom is from Hong Kong. But for my Dad, it’s barbecue, grits, collards, and anything with ham hocks.

        Chili is kind of more Southwestern though (Texas, New Mexico), but I did see this recipe for chili in a New Southern Cooking book that used ginger ale. Ginger Ale!

  2. Thank you for another inspiring post! I can’t wait to try both the corn bread and chili this weekend (especially since it’s going to be wet and gloomy!).

    Just one quick question though – I note that on The Fresh Loaf, the quantities of sugar and vegetable oil are a bit ambiguous (doesn’t specify cup or tablespoon…etc) – do you remember how much you used?

  3. I live in the deep south of the USA (Alabama) and cornbread is a regular item on the dinner table. However, it is rarely used as a breakfast item. I’m looking forward to trying this creative use of leftover cornbread. Thanks for the recipe.

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