Cast Iron Corn Bread

05bTurnedOutCutbfLOThis recipe, from Leah Eskin in The Chicago Tribune, makes a great, very simple to toss together corn bread from scratch, and it calls for baking it in a hot cast iron skillet that’s been slathered in butter.

What’s not to love?

I took a cue from visiting my sister the week before and added some crumbled cooked bacon to the batter before baking – nice! Just remember, you’ll then have to store any leftover bread in the fridge.

01aPanbfLOErmmm, do not ask me how I know this.

•1-1/4 cup cornmeal
•3/4 cup flour
•1 tbsp sugar
•2 tsp baking powder
02bWhiskbfLO•1 tsp salt
•1/4 tsp black pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•3 oz butter, melted
•1 cup plus 2 tbsp milk
•1 egg
•3/4 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
•1 tsp salted butter

•3 strips cooked bacon, chopped

03bAddCornBaconbfLOPlace a ten inch cast iron skillet in the oven, then set it to 400º and allow to heat for mebbe 30 minutes.

Whisk the cornmeal together with the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and peppers in a mixing bowl.

Combine the melted butter together with the milk and egg, then stir into the cornmeal mixture with a fork.

Not to worry, the batter may well be lumpy.

04bAddBatterbfLOStir in the corn and bacon pieces, if using.

Using your best oven mitts (it’s gonna be hot!), remove the cast iron skillet from the oven and add the tablespoon of butter, swirling it around to coat the bottom and sides of the pan well.

Add the batter to the pan, and lightly pat it to make a smooth top and spread it to the edges of the pan (it’s a thick batter), then pop it back into the oven for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.

05cCornBreadbfLORemove from the oven and invert the pan onto a board or platter so that the golden browned pan side is up.

Cut into wedges and serve with butter or honey. Nice corn bread, very flaky and tasty.

I thought that the bacon I’d used was a bit overpowering, next time, I’ll save some from a batch of Maple Roasted Bacon and use that…

or, mebbe, leave the bacon out entirely and add some diced jalapeño or chiles; lots of possibilities.

I like that in a corn bread.

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