appetizers & recipes: honey cornbread
There was a time when I could give my children a wholesome snack in the afternoon. Gone are the days when they will be satisfied with apples dipped in peanut butter, homemade granola bars or honey cornbread and milk. My two sweet boys have grown into teenage eating machines. They don’t eat snacks anymore. They eat entire meals in between their meals. I can’t really blame them. They don’t have an ounce of fat on their frame. They are tall and athletic so I guess if I could eat like they do, I probably would.
I miss the snacks of childhood. Sometimes I grab an apple and the peanut butter and have myself a snack. Once in a while I make honey cornbread because it tastes so good with a nice cold glass of milk. Of course, cornbread isn’t just a snack. It is a delicious to many meals. And what makes cornbread even more appealing is that it can be sweet or it can be spicy. You can flavor it in many tasty ways.
Here is a little trivial information about the etymology of the word “corn”. Corn is an inherently American food. The word “corn” comes from old English “kurnam” “small seed”. The general meaning of the old English word was “grain with the seed still in” (e.g. barleycorn) rather than a particular plant.
According to etymology sources corn was “locally understood to denote the leading crop of a district. Restricted to corn on the cob in America (c.1600, originally Indian corn, but the adjective was dropped), usually wheat in England, oats in Scotland and Ireland, while korn means “rye” in parts of Germany.” Maize was the Taino word for this plant in the West Indies. The word “maize” is the source of the Spanish, Italian and French word for corn.
If you have only used box mixes for corn bread or muffins you probably experience a dry cornbread. Put the boxes back on the shelf and make your own corn bread. It is quick, easy and won’t crumble if you look at it the wrong way. Both the following recipes are moist and delicious. One is sweet and one is spicy.
2/3 cup sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
½ cup orange blossom honey
1 1/3 cups milk
2 1/3 cups flour
1 ½ Tablespoon baking powder
½ cup corn meal
1 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Mix sugar and butter until fluffy.
3. Add in eggs, honey and milk and mix well.
4. In a separate bowl gently whisk the flour, baking powder, corn meal and salt.
5. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients while continuously mixing.
6. Pour batter in greased 11×14-inch baking pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread (Ina Garten)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups milk
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided
1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish, 3 scallions
3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeño peppers
1. Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don’t over mix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking pan.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.