I’m not (nor will I likely ever be) a vegetarian, but if the time ever did come to where I was making that lifestyle choice, there are a few foods/dishes that would make that transition much easier for me to adjust to.
Greens and cornbread are one of them.
Greens and cornbread are a classic Southern staple in the US; a cornerstone of the cuisine that is aptly titled Soul Food. Although they’ve always been served as a side dish at the dinners I grew up on and the ones that I make, they’re delicious enough to me to where I really would be content to do without the meat altogether and just eat a big bowl of greens (collards, cabbage or turnip, I don’t care) and cornbread all to myself. There’s just something so comforting about a pan of warm, golden-crusted cornbread that I will never get enough of.
My go-to cornbread is my grandmother’s recipe, but recently I decided to give it a little bit of a twist with another ingredient that it just seems like I can never get enough of: browned butter. I’ve already got quite the collection of browned butter recipes going on the blog and I’m really pleased to announce that it’s now time for yet another one.
There’s really nothing in this world that browned butter cannot improve, cornbread included. My only concern going into this little experiment was that the nutty, caramel-y flavor of the browned butter would make it too sweet for me, as I tend to prefer saltier cornbread. But it really didn’t. The browned butter does give the cornbread a different buttery richness, but it’s not particularly sweet.
What it IS however, is delicious.
It’s kind of impossible to mess up a straightforward cornbread recipe like this one, so I hope that you’ll give this one a go.
Browned Butter Cornbread
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
- 2 cups plain yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cups whole buttermilk
- 2 tbsp. liquid bacon grease/drippings
- 2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 9 inch cake pan (or square pan) with cooking spray and set aside.
Melt the butter over medium heat in a 2 quart saucepan. Let it cook and watch it closely until 3-5 minutes until the butter begins to foam, forms a golden brown color and browned bits form on the bottom. (It will have a sweet, nutty smell). Immediately remove it from the heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.
In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and the melted browned butter. Make a well in center of cornmeal mixture, and add buttermilk mixture, stirring until just combined.
Pour batter into cake pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean.
Let cool slightly; cut cornbread into slices, and serve warm.