I told Paul this morning, as I was pouring today’s cornbread batter into my mom’s old, cast iron dutch oven, that I felt like this is be something I would bake in our fantasy cabin on Whitefish Lake in Montana. It is my dream to one day live in Whitefish, work in the Buffalo Cafe, pouring coffee for all of the lovely locals who live there year round.
There’s just something really special about hearing batter sizzle as it hits the hot bacon grease before I place it into the oven. And the fact that I’m using my mom’s cast iron dutch oven from the 70’s for this bread makes it even better.
I do believe that when food is made with love, it is even more delicious than it was intended to be. Using all of my senses when baking (appreciating every color, sound, and smell while creating a delectable treat) and honoring the cooking legacy I received from my mom bakes love right into this cornbread.
Yes, I’m that cheesy. But anyone who know me knows that I’m ridiculously cheesy and completely sincere.
This is a damn good cornbread, simple as that. It’s complex in that when you take a bite the flavors reveal themselves in layers. The sweet corn… then the subtle cheddar cheese… then the salty bacon. It’s just lovely. I would serve this warm with a thin slab of butter melting into the crevices. It’s delicious!
Bacon Cheddar Cornbread (recipe care of spicysouthernkitchen.com)
INGREDIENTS: 8 slices bacon, 1 cup yellow cornmeal, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 large eggs (lightly beaten), 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, 2 tablespoons butter (melted), 1 cup frozen or canned corn (well-drained), 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice bacon into bite-sized pieces and cook in a 9-inch cast iron pan until crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon and set aside. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of fat from pan. In a large bowl, stir together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter and stir until combined. Fold in corn, half of bacon and half of cheese. Pour batter into pan with bacon grease. Sprinkle remaining cheese and bacon on top. Bake for about 30 minutes or until feels firm when the top is pressed.