I’m a huge lover of fresh sweet corn so whatever the cornbread, it’s delicious in my books! But when you load the cornbread with wonderful things such as ceps and vegetarian chorizo or organic bacon and jalapenos, it’s even better. I’m not sure if there ever was a more delicious savory bread made!
I love to eat loaded cornbread as it is, but turns out, it’s also wonderful as a savory cake! I whipped up one for the 8th anniversary of this blog and was extremely happy with the result. I filled my savory cornbread cake with soft goat cheese and the end result was everything I could have dreamt of: umami filled, savory, hearty, delicious. To put it simply, it was perfect for me!
This is the season for fresh local corn and as a huge corn lover, I’m eating an ear per day. At least! I love corn in all it’s forms and have made countless recipes (in Finnish) over the course of the 8 years of this food blog. I even eat frozen corn as a snack 😀 a habit I picked up as a kid… Since my blogiversary is always overlapping the season of corn, most of my anniversary posts have actually been about corn. So shall it be this year too!
I made this delicious savory cornbread cake for the special day, using a recipe by Claire Saffitz as a base. Her recipe happened to pop on my feed at the perfect moment, since I realized on Monday that the anniversary is on Tuesday. Aaaand after a hastily created anniversary post on my Instagram, I realized the correct date was actually Thursday. D’oh! So here I am, typing away the recipe finally on the last hours of Saturday… Things have not gone as planned. Maybe because there was no plan… But, I suppose birthdays are rarely ever celebrated on the exact day! And now I got to celebrate my blog anniversary many times instead of just one 😉
Claire’s cornbread was loaded with jalapenos, bacon and cilantro and it indeed made the best birthday cake I’ve ever eaten although I didn’t follow the recipe to the T. The result was actually so delicious, that I ended up making it also on Thursday, as a vegetarian version. And low and behold, loaded cornbread with browned butter, porcini and vegetarian chorizo turned out to be even more delicious. Though come to think of it, if there’s fungi porcini involved, how could it ever rate lower than something without?
Note! As Claire mentions in her recipe video, her loaded cornbread is NOT a traditional Southern cornbread. Her recipe is based on what they ate in her family as she was growing up. And now that I’ve added my mix of vegetarian sausage and ceps I suppose the result is even farther away from a traditional cornbread… As a Finn who’s traveled to America twice, I have no experience of the different styles of cornbread at all to be honest. I’d love to try each version some day exactly where it’s traditionally made! But as things currently are, my vegetarian cornbread honestly reminds me most of a savory quiche or pie of a kind, I really don’t know how cornbread should be! In any case, both of my own variations (as well as Claire’s original recipe no doubt) are TO DIE FOR. At least if you’re a corn lover like me!
Loaded cornbread two ways
- Ø 25 cm cast iron pan
- 100 g butter
- 300 g corn (OR substitute 100-150g of the corn with boletus edulis or other mushrooms)
- 100 g vegetarian chorizo OR organic bacon
- 2-3 scallions
- 2 jalapenos
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1½ dl wheat flour (OR substitute ½ dl with (whole wheat) spelt or emmer flour!)
- 1½ dl yellow cornmeal (preferably coarse)
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- 1-1½ tsp salt (OR herbal salt / lovage salt)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper (OR app. ½ tsp ground white pepper)
- 2 eggs
- 300 g creme fraîche
- 1 bunch cilantro (OR sage when using mushrooms)
- 150 g strong aged cheese, grated (f.ex. extra mature cheddar, mature emmenthal, aged hard goat cheese...)
- 1 medium boletus edulis
- Start warming the oven to 220 °C. Melt the butter in the cast iron pan and let it foam up. Stir the butter and keep browning it until it's smelling toasty. Pour the butter in to a heat proof bowl.
- Return a few spoonfuls of butter back in the pan. Chop up the vegetarian chorizo or bacon into small pieces and brown the pieces in the butter. Lower the heat. Finely slice your garlic cloves and jalapenos (keep a few slices to top the bread with, remove seeds if you want).
- Remove the corn kernels from the cobbs (you need about 2) or defrost frozen corn. If you are replacing part of the corn with mushrooms, clean them and cube them to about ½ cm pieces. Add everything to the pan and keep cooking until corn (and mushrooms) are done. Scrape everything to a bowl to cool off while you prepare the batter!
- Mix the flours, baking powder and -soda and spices in a large bowl. Chop up the herb you are using (if using cilantro, add in stems and all!). Mix the eggs, creme fraiche and the herbs in another bowl. Pour the egg mixture to the flour mixture and gently fold until even. If you want to add in cheese, add about ⅘ of it.
- Spoon a few tbsp of butter back in to the cast iron pan and start heating the pan. Add the remaining butter and all the caramelized milk solids to the batter, as well as the corn mixture. Mix only until homogeneous, and once the butter is sizzling away, pour the batter to the pan. Top the batter off with some cheese (if using), one porcini slices thinly lengthwise (if using) and/or some jalapeno.
- Bake the cornbread on the middle rack for about 25-30 min, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean.
- Allow the bread to cool off a bit before serving! Store the cornbread in the fridge.
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