brown butter cornbread

Last year I read Melissa Clark's cookbook cover to cover and marked with red tabs all the recipes I wanted to try. Among them was this cornbread. Not just any cornbread, but nutty, brown butter cornbread flecked with tender corn kernels. It sounded irresistible, and it only took me a year to finally make it.

We had a friend over for dinner recently and I made a vegetarian version of this beef chili. Since chili isn't complete without cornbread, I finally had an opportunity to try this recipe, and I might be done looking, actually. When you combine our internet searches, cookbooks, magazine subscriptions and food blog browsing, you sometimes don't know where to start when it comes to deciding what to cook, or which recipe to use for a particular dish. It's very easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of recipes there are in the universe.

And sometimes, cookbooks are forgotten. Not because they don't have exceptional, approachable recipes, but because we're overloaded, sometimes on a daily basis, with recipes from the web. I think one of my 2012 culinary goals should be to revisit my cookbooks and get to know them a bit better.


Adapted slightly rom In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite

Serves 4-6

This recipe doesn't need much else, but if you have some rosemary or basil on hand, you could easily toss some into the batter before baking. Using Greek yogurt, I found my batter to be a bit thick. If this happens, thin it out slightly with milk before spreading into the baking pan.

8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 ear corn, kernels removed
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 large egg
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a 9-inch cast iron skillet, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the corn and maple syrup and sauté, stirring, until the corn is tender, 10-12 minutes.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whack the yogurt, egg, sugar and baking soda. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Fold in the browned butter and corn.

Return the skillet to the stove and melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter, tilting the pan to coat the sides completely. Cook the butter 2-3 minutes until pale and gold with a nutty fragrance. Remove skillet from the heat and scrape in the batter, smoothing the surface with a small icing spatula.

Bake until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.