Whenever I want chili, vegetable soup or just a plate of vegetables I get ready to make a batch of southern cornbread. Before I introduced my husband to cornbread he had rice with his chili but now he’s pretty insistent on my cornbread! The only catch is that I have to ration it because I bring a 5lb bag of cornmeal back from the states when I visit! It usually lasts me 6 months.
There are many ways to make it but my recipe was handed down from my great grandmother, to my grandmother, to my mom and then me. And I’m sure it’s been changed a little along the way (for example my grandmother used buttermilk my mom always used milk). It’s pretty hard to mess this one up just as long as you remember to get the oil in the pan sizzling before you pour in your mixture. So here goes!
1 cup cornmeal, 1 cup self raising flour, 1 cup milk, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 egg & 1/4 cup vegetable oil which is heated in your pan before you pour in mixture.
Preheat your oven to 204c (400f). Add oil to the pan (I use a cake pan since I don’t have any iron skillets with me in the UK) and pop it in the oven to get nice and hot while you make the mix. Mix your dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl add oil and milk, beat the egg with a fork and then add the egg to the same bowl. Slowly stir the wet ingredients into the flour and cornmeal mix. Remove the pan from the oven and make sure the oil is hot enough by adding a little of the mixture to the pan – if it sizzles you’re good to go so pour the mix in the pan and bake on the middle rack for about 20 minutes. If it doesn’t sizzle put the pan back in the oven for a few more minutes to heat the oil. This ensures you get a crispy crust!
Be sure to check as oven times will vary. Insert a toothpick or knife & when it comes out clean it’s ready. Serve with a little butter & enjoy!