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Grandma's Cornbread

Suvir SaranThis cornbread recipe below is from Suvir Saran's new book, American Masala. It has the ability to easily become the quintessential cornbread recipe you will ever eat or make. A gift from Charlie's grandma, this is good ol' cast iron cornbread at its best. Given a nod of affectation without any ego, by the addition of fresh corn, cilantro, jalapeno and some cheese. The result is a bread that is unctuous, savory and with an amazing crust.

American Masala . . .

"Suvir Saran's American Masala is an exciting addition to American cooking. These recipes are simple without being simplistic and bring the vibrant traditions of Indian seasoning and spice to the increasingly diverse American repertoire. Perhaps most important, this book is filled with Saran's huge and generous spirit." - Michael Ruhlman

. . . find out more

"Charlie's grandmother, Grandma Hayes, in West Virginia taught me how to make cast iron skillet cornbread. By adding some Indian spices and seasonings, I've adjusted her recipe to reflect my cooking style. This cornbread has become a staple in my home and a favorite among many friends. To add a smoky edge, roast the corn over a high flame on your gas cooktop or on a baking sheet under the broiler before before combining the kernels with the other cornbread ingredients."

Ingredients for Grandma's Cornbread

1 stick unsalted butter cut into 8 pieces
2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 3 ears)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 pound Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated
1 package Jiffy corn muffin mix
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 jalapeno (seeded and veined if you prefer a milder flavor), sliced into thin rings
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup fat-free plain yogurt

How to make Grandma's Cornbread

  • Heat your oven to 400°F and set an oven rack at the lowest position.
  • Melt the butter in a 9-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once melted, reduce the heat to low.
  • Place the corn, chopped onion, cheese, corn muffin mix, flour, cilantro, jalapeño, salt, cayenne pepper and cracked pepper in a large bowl and set it aside.
  • Lightly whisk the egg and yogurt together in a medium bowl and add it to the corn mixture, stirring until just combined (the consistency will be thick).
  • Pour the cornbread batter into the hot skillet and using a rubber spatula, press batter into the pan. The butter will rise up the sides of skillet and over top of batter.
  • Tilt the skillet toward you, and then rotate it away from to evenly coat the top of the batter with melted butter.
  • Bake until its top is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes (some butter will still be bubbling around the edges of the skillet).
  • Remove the skillet from oven and set it aside to cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Makes 1 x 9 inch cornbread

Suvir Saran

© Suvir Saran