I’m not a huge cornbread lover. For one thing, when I first tried it after I moved to Texas a million years ago, it was way too sweet. And unnecessarily sweet. So I stayed away from it for years. But then I started making it from scratch, and ignoring the sugar. I like it much better sugar-free – besides, corn is already sweet!
But, the great thing I’ve learned about making cornbread is that you can do so many different things to it to make it your own, and really compliment whatever entrée you’re serving with it. Cornbread can be Southwestern with the addition of chile peppers, or it can be Mediterranean with the addition of olives. You can herb it up in the summer, or add any kind of flavor during the winter months like sun-dried tomato pesto. And, of course, you can always add cheese!!!
Today I wanted my cornbread fairly plain, but I wanted a little flavor enhancement and beautiful color from achiote oil. So here’s my recipe for Skillet Cornbread with Achiote Oil.
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons achiote oil, plus a little more
6 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Have a 10 – 12″ iron skillet on your stove.
Get your dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Then place the buttermilk, eggs, and achiote oil in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth. Have your melted butter handy.
When your oven has preheated, turn on the heat under your skillet and let it pre-heat.
Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, whisking just until smooth.
Using a little extra achiote oil, grease the skillet. Then pour the batter into the hot skillet, an immediately place it in the oven.
Bake for 18 minutes. It should be nice and golden and the middle should be somewhat firm to the touch.
Remove the skillet from the oven and let the cornbread cool a little for about ten minutes. Loosen the sides, then remove the cornbread onto a cutting board.
Slice into wedges and serve warm!