Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bacon Cheddar Cornbread

Bacon is the single most reason I can never truly become a vegetarian.  I could give up just about all other meat.  But bacon?  It is truly its own food group.  Bacon and super extra sharp cheddar together?  I am all but in heaven.  And contrary to popular belief I can cook something other than soup... although my brother in law was quite shocked to hear that...  So here you go Scary Larry... Proof that I can cook other things... although... this would be a really, really good accompaniment to a nice warm bowl of soup!

Bacon Cheddar Cornbread
Adapted from Bacon Cheddar & Sage Cornbread
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound bacon
  • 1 cup frozen corn (or fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 cup of extra sharp cheddar cheese, in small cubes (I used Tillamook, but any sharp or really well aged cheddar would work nicely)

Bacon Preparation:  You can chop the bacon and fry it if you would like.  Save the fat.  I dislike the frying of bacon mess so I set up a large rimmed baking pan covered in foil and set two racks down inside it.  I place the strips of bacon on the racks and place into a cold oven.  Turn the oven on to bake at 400 degrees and cook until crispy.  It comes out nice and flat and all the rendered fat is in the bottom of your pan and you can still capture it and save it for other uses.  It doesn't take long and you don't have that whole popping greasy bacon fat frying thing going on all over the kitchen.  And it still smells great!  Then turn over down to 350 for baking the cornbread.  When bacon is cool enough to handle, chop in to bite size pieces.

Meanwhile combine melted butter, sugar, eggs and milk.  In a separate bowl combine flour, cornmeal, baking power, dried sage and salt.  Mix well and then gently stir in your wet mixture until it is just moistened.  Gently fold in the cheese, bacon and corn.  (The original recipe calls for fresh sage.  If you are a fan, by all means you may use fresh sage.  I am not a big fan of the flavor so I chose to use dried.)

Use your leftover bacon grease to grease your cast iron skillet and pour mixture in to skillet.  Bake at 350 until the edges are brown and the middle has set. (About 30 minutes.)

Best eaten warm.  Or immediately.  The cheese just gets nice and soft, but isn't a big sloppy mess.  You get a different taste depending on what you bite into.  Corn, bacon, cheese... What beats that??

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