Saturday, August 8, 2009

Honey Basil and Cheddar Cornbread

I happen to think that cornbread could very well reside in its own food group alongside chocolate, meat (preferably beef) and butter. If you think about it, they're all simple and easy to find ingredients and, for the most part, occur completely natural in the environment. And I like that. Cornbread, on the other hand, requires several ingredients; but each also relatively simple to find.

First, you'll need one of the key ingredients - corn. In this case, I've elected to use good old fashioned canned corn - both whole kernel and creamed corn.

Another key ingredient is fresh basil leaves. I happen to believe there is such a significant difference in fresh basil versus dried that when the opportunity to use fresh basil presents itself, I'm happy to oblige.

After combining the dry ingredients and adding the wet, in goes the corn.

Followed by the fresh basil.

And after all of the hard work, what presents itself fresh from the hot oven is a moist, sweet and slightly crunchy cornbread.

Honey Basil and Cheddar Cornbread

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup canned corn
1/2 cup creamed corn
2 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients – flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine.

In a separate bowl, combine the milk and egg. Whisk to combine. Add honey and mix well. Add mixture to dry ingredients. Add corn, creamed corn, cheese, basil and melted better. Stir just until moistened.

Pour into a greased 9-inch square baking dish. Bake at 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cut into 9 squares. Serve warm with softened butter.

Cook's Note: Spice up your cornbread with the addition of a seeded and finely diced fresh jalapeno pepper!

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