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Cornbread Man: A Real Crowd Pleaser

Cornbread Man
Nina made this cornbread man at the end of the meal tonight. I couldn’t help photographing it, because it brought to mind what I wrote about in my previous blog post. The green torso is a stalk of asparagus. For the longest time, we’d struggle with getting Nina to eat more than the tip of that green. Then she started to eat the whole thing. I don’t know exactly how that happened, but I do know what we didn’t do. We didn’t discuss it to death, and cajole her, and make her eat the whole thing (okay, we might have withheld dessert one night, but, hey, we’re only human), and the next thing I know she’s just finishing her asparagus. It can happen.

The cornbread, well, that’s another story. Everyone will want to eat it from the start!

Everyday Celebration Cornbread

  • 4 cups organic flour
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal*
  • 1 light cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 and ½ tablespoons canola oil
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a 9-inch cast-iron skillet and a 4x8 loaf pan. Place the skillet in the oven to heat. The loaf pan can remain room temperature.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and oil. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ones in the dry ingredient bowl. Stir until mixed through, and no more. Add the butter and stir again until it is all mixed together.

Remove the hot skillet from the oven and fill it with the batter. Put the remaining batter in the baking pan. It should fill it about half way.

Bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a sharp, thin, knife into the center. It should come out clean. Cool on a rack (or better yet, cut some slices, slather with butter, and enjoy).

*As for cornmeal, I suggest (and Santa Maria insists upon) Bob’s Red Mill, coarse ground.

Note: This recipe is adapted from Sam Sifton’s “Thanksgiving: How to Cook it Well”; Sifton in turn adapted his recipe from Chris Schlesinger’s East Coast Grill. Sifton added frozen organic corn (1 ten-ounce package, for those who want to try it—Sifton says mix it in just before the butter). I in turn, omitted the corn, so I guess I’m back at Schlesinger’s recipe, though I did cut the sugar by a third. 

Note Also: This recipe is very easy to cut in half.

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