I’m promising to end my Southern Belle kick IMMEDIATELY, for two reasons:
(A) I’m now completely obsessed and I have too much unpacking to do to be fucking around in the kitchen; but more importantly,
(B) Cooking as I do in nothing but an apron, all the butter and flour and salt in these amazing dishes is causing me to hate myself when I walk past a mirror and catch what my ass is looking like sticking out in the back.
So I COULD wear pants, but I think I’ll move on to small plates and finger foods and salads for a little while.
But not until I finish eating stuff like this.
I love corn bread, I love simple, I love starchy and creamy and eggy… this is all those things.
More of a bready custard, this is real stick-to-yer-ribs grub. It starts on the stove then goes into the oven, and you serve it, if you’re a purist, with a spoon. A true Southerner would gawk at a Yankee trying to slice this like a quiche or a pan bread just the way we’d stare at an ape eating soup with his hands at a high tea. I know folks who prefer it sweet, served hot from the oven with a pat of butter, a drizzle of honey or maple, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. But I think it’s best in its basic form, served as we would above the Mason-Dixon line as a starchy base for a saucier main dish — like noodles with stroganoff or stew, or rice with chili or curries. So even though this is GREAT stand-alone with a bit of butter and some salt and pepper (did I hear someone say “sprinkle of parmesan”? Yeah you, in the back there — I caught that), instead of just a haughtier cousin of the soul-nourishing corn grits, try it instead of biscuits next time you make a saucy dish so good you don’t want to miss a drop.
3 Large Eggs
1 tsp. Salt
3 Cups Milk
1 Cup Yellow cornmeal
2 Tbsp. Butter
1 Tbsp. Baking powder
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs well with the salt. Add 1 Cup of the milk and blend thoroughly; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, mix remaining 2 Cups of milk with the cornmeal until well blended. Bring to a boil over medium high heat; once boiling, reduce heat to medium and, stirring constantly for another 3 minutes, work mixture into a very thick paste, being sure to scoop down sides and bottom. Remove from heat and add butter, stirring to melt and blend it in thoroughly.
Add 1/2 of the milk and egg mixture, and blend in thoroughly working out any lumps. Repeat with remaining liquid until smooth and uniform.
Add baking powder and stir thoroughly, folding in the resulting foam until the mixture is well blended.
Transfer mixture to a greased casserole (or preferably, because this is home-cookin’, a cast iron or other oven-proof skillet). The fluffy mix will not rise much, so if it fits comfortably at this stage, you’re safe from puffy, drippy messes.
Bake on rack in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, or until the edges are browning and the top is showing signs of turning golden brown in spots. Remove from oven, and let cool.
Yes it will deflate a bit. Yes it will be delicious anyway. And yes you will find a million reasons to make this, from brunch to lunch to dinner to whythefuckamIawakeatfourinthemorning.
Try this with our Stout-Poached Pulled Chicken Barbecue. Or just try it, as the name and the Confederacy demand… with a spoon.