This recipe stands well on its own, but is also the base for a delicious holiday treat: Cornbread Pudding with Rough Country Greens.
For that recipe, you can bake this a couple of days in advance and let it stale at room temperature.
3/4 cup all-purpose unbleached flour (dipped and leveled)
3/4 cup coarsely ground cornmeal (dipped and leveled)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Generous 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg, plus 1 yolk, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Slip a 9-inch square, shiny metal baking pan (not a dark baking pan) into the oven.
2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt with a whisk to thoroughly combine. Stir in the onion, thyme, garlic and Cheddar until well blended. Set aside.
3. In another large bowl, beat the butter with the eggs and gradually add the milk. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones only long enough to combine. The mixture should be a little lumpy. Don’t over mix.
4. Using thick potholders to take the hot pan from the oven, add the olive oil and swirl it around to coat the pan. Take extra care not to burn yourself. Pour in the batter and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the cornbread comes out clean.
5. Cool for 10 minutes in the baking pan, then turn the cornbread out onto a rack, or cut it into chunks for faster cooling if you’re making the entire recipe on the same day. Break it up into 1-inch chunks and spread out to dry.
Copyright 2011 by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. From A Spice-Scented Thanksgiving Menu.
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