Skillet Cornbread and Cornbread Salad

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I love making cornbread. No matter what, those four ingredients mixed together makes cornbread the same as the hundred times before (whereas with loaf bread I get something a little different every time!).

If you like, you can add things to it - corn kernels, jalapenos, onions...but the basic recipe is:

1-1/4 c. milk, maybe a bit more if the batter needs it
1/4 c. melted butter
1 large egg, beaten
2 cups cornmeal (I use white cornmeal, Martha White brand)

Put the cast iron skillet in the cold oven and preheat the oven to 425*.

Combine all the wet ingredients, then stir in the cornmeal. Don't overmix - a few lumps are just fine.

Once the oven reaches 425*, take a potholder and remove the hot skillet from the oven. Carefully pour in the cornbread batter:

After 20-25 minutes back in the oven, it will have a beautiful golden brown crust - all done!:

What we don't eat with supper, I might take a small slice, cut it horizontally, and fill with chicken salad for the next day's lunch (mmmmhhhh) - you can also take half a skillet of cornbread and make cold cornbread salad, which is delicious too.

Cornbread Salad

Half skillet of cornbread
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
1/2 medium-size Vidalia onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped - plus another 1/4 - 1/2 tomato chopped to sprinkle over the top just before serving
(plus - you can add in crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, pinto beans, rotel tomatoes, etc etc etc)

Crumble the cornbread into bite-size pieces:

Add all the other ingredients except the mayonnaise:
Put the mayonnaise in a little at a time - I think I usually use about a cup of Duke's for this. But you may like a little more or a little less.

Mix gently, and it's ready! I have to admit, it's not the most attractive dish, so before I serve it like this, I'll dice up a little more tomato and sprinkle that over the top - makes a big difference.
Oh - and like potato salad, it really is better the next day!

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