It’s Super Bowl Sunday, and my home team is playing! I won’t pretend to be a football fan, but I sure have enjoyed watching all the playoff games, and will be front row center in front of the TV later this afternoon to cheer them on. But honestly I’m looking forward as much to the commercials as the game itself. I understand the object of the game, but still get lost in the vagaries of touchbacks, offsides, safeties, holding, and really most anything other than ‘Touchdown!’. Someday I really should learn the game. Until then, I’ll just focus on the food.
Contrary to every other food related missive today (and for the past several days), I’m not posting a Super Bowl snack, or chili, or half-time dessert. Not because I don’t think all those posts are great, and wouldn’t love to have the food on my table. They are, and I do. But even though I have a few ‘go-to’ appetizers, I still don’t consider them to be my strength. And the chili I experimented with on Friday didn’t come close to working well enough to be shared. Or even made again. Ever.
So I focused on what was initially planned as the chili’s sidekick – cornbread. It took four batches of cornbread to get the texture and flavor I was looking for, which should tell you, if nothing else, that cornbread comes together quickly. It should also suggest that there are a lot of variations of cornbread. If you haven’t researched cornbread lately, let me clue you in. Some are sweetened with regular sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey; or not sweetened at all. Some use corn kernels, most don’t. Some include herbs, most don’t. The number of eggs in the recipes I perused ranged from one to four; and the flours/corn meal ratios were all over the place.
My first batches were sweet and savory, but used a rosemary oil that overpowered everything including the corn. Then I made a salsa cornbread that involved draining the salsa and spreading it over the batter as a ‘layer’, which was covered with more batter. It was interesting OK, but the texture was too dense. I went back to my savory sweet idea, nixing the rosemary oil and pumping up the honey a bit; and played with texture by experimenting with the number of eggs, yogurt/crème fråiche/ sour cream, and buttermilk. My husband Myles asked how my final version would compare with a traditional cornbread, and I have no idea what that even is any more. But we did agree the traditional cornbreads likely didn’t include yogurt.
Honey Cornbread with Thyme
Makes 16 small squares
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup medium grain cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 3/4 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8″ X 8″ baking dish.
Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and whisk together. If you’re weighing the flours, I used 4.5 ounces for one cup.
Combine the wet ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer and mix on medium high for 2 minutes. Pour into the dry ingredients and mix together with a spatula or large spoon only until all the ingredients come together into a batter.
Pour the batter into the buttered baking dish, and bake for 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Serve warm with a drizzle of honey, or butter, or both.