Start the New Year Off Right

Jan 1, 2019

Nothing goes better with New Year’s lucky foods of greens and black-eyed peas than cornbread.

Credit Jennifer Chandler

In fact, one could argue that the golden color of cornbread could symbolize more gold in the new year! Who wouldn’t want that?

It’s easy to whip up a batch of cornbread. And the good news is that you probably already have many of the ingredients on hand.

A friend recently shared with me her secret to having a moist cornbread that still has the ability to crumble beautifully over whatever dish you are serving it with – the additions of mayonnaise and sour cream to a classic cornbread batter.  I would have never guessed those two simple ingredients would make a world of difference!

Folks add lots of different things to their corn bread for extra flavor. A couple of tablespoons of bacon grease can be substituted for some of the butter. Diced jalapeños and pepper jack cheese can make cornbread have a Tex-Mex flair. A half cup of corn kernels adds both flavor and texture.  It’s really up to you!

As for what to cook your cornbread in - sorry, there is really no way around this one - but a good Southern cornbread can only really be made in a hot cast iron skillet.  Pouring the batter into a hot skillet before baking ensures that your cornbread has delectable crispy edges.

I put my cast iron skillet in the oven when I turn it on to pre-heat. I pull it out, swirl a tablespoon of butter in it, and then add the batter before popping it back in the oven.

The cornbread is ready when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Happy New Year!

Skillet Cornbread

  • 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven to heat.

Place the cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together the eggs and buttermilk.  Add the milk mixture, mayonnaise, and sour cream to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter and stir into the batter. Add the cheese and stir to combine.

Remove the hot skillet from the oven and place the remaining 1 tablespoon butter into the hot skillet.  Swirl the butter until melted and evenly coating the skillet.  Spoon the batter into the skillet. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8.

Printed with permission from The Southern Pantry Cookbook by Jennifer Chandler.