11 November 2013
Pimiento Cheese Cornbread
I love me some cornbread. It's a staple of the Southern diet and definitely a staple at my house both as a kid and now. We had a cornbread festival here in town last weekend complete with a cornbread competition. I didn't get to go because I had to work, but I was inspired to make my own cornbread and attend in spirit at least. In conjunction with the festival I heard a semi-heated debate on the radio over sweet versus savory cornbread, a.k.a. the great cornbread debate.
I personally prefer a sweeter version even if it's served in a savory setting. I think a sweeter cornbread just enhances the natural sweetness of the corn. One member of my family makes theirs from scratch but doesn't add even a pinch of sugar. I find it almost impossible to swallow. The bread is good in every respect -- texture, lightness, etc.... It's just not right, though.
My momma, being a good Southern cook in almost every way, always made her cornbread from scratch, too. Even doing it all the right way in a cast iron pan and heating the pan before adding the batter to get the crispy crust on the bottom (which is totally the best part). We usually ate it with chili or chicken and dumplings. It doesn't get much more Southern than that. I take cues from my mom in that I usually serve my cornbread with those same dishes. I don't make mine from scratch, though (my cue to hang my head in shame). I use Jiffy mix. It's really good cornbread. It's fluffy, light, sweet, and never fails.
Even if I do use Jiffy mix as my base I do almost always add stuff to the mix to make it my own. I'll add some corn kernels, cheese, bacon, bacon fat, and/or green chile. I also slather the top with an excessive amount of butter and a little sprinkle of salt as soon as it comes out of the oven. That's another trick for extra yumminess. I figured if all those other things work so well, then pimiento cheese would be super perfect. It is. It's perfect. The extra generous dose of black pepper didn't hurt either.
All praise the glory of cornbread!
Pimiento Cheese Cornbread
makes one 8" round bread
Print me, Please!!!
1 pkg Jiffy Cornbread mix
1/3 cup milk
1 cup pimiento cheese (If you wanna make it from scratch, here's my recipe.)
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp butter
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly grease an 8" pie plate and place the dish in the oven while it is preheating.
In a medium bowl, combine the cornbread mix, egg, milk, cheese, and pepper. Mix until just combined.
As soon as the oven is heated, remove the pie plate and spread the batter into the hot dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester comes out clean and the top is golden brown. As soon as you remove the cornbread from the oven, spread the top with the butter and sprinkle with salt. Serve warm.