Saturday, December 28, 2013

Gluten Free Cornbread

I was raised on cornbread and sweet tea.  I'm of the opinion that life just isn't really being lived if you give these essentials up!  Sure, limit them maybe, but going gluten free would have been devastating if I would have had to give up everything ~ so I'm adapting.

My gluten free cornbread is a mock of my Mom's.  It is not sweet.  It is not thick.  It in no way resembles that "stuff" you mix in the small box.  If you are accustomed to the sweet/fluffy/cake-like cornbread that is close to a dessert, know that this is entirely savory and may be a bit Earthy to your palate at first.

I kinda like that Earthy word and apparently I r-e-a-l-l-y like my cornbread that way.  Don't we need to train ourselves to recognize more depth of flavor anyways....drift a bit from all that sweet, ya know?

Well, Mom's cornbread is crisp on the edges and is D-I-V-I-N-E when taken straight from the hot oven and spread with a good quality butter.

It took a few tries, but I promise, I have nailed it!

First, add two tablespoons of coconut oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet and place in a HOT oven.  (400-450 degrees)

Second, in a mixing bowl combine:
   1 cup gluten free baking mix
   1 cup cornmeal ((not cornmeal mix, that is most frequently NOT gluten free))
   1/2 tsp. salt
   2 eggs
   12 oz. evaporated milk (1 can) OR  12 oz buttermilk

Once the skillet is HOT and the coconut oil has melted, coating the skillet well, remove from oven and use a spoon to dip a bit of the hot oil out and add that to the batter in your mixing bowl.  Mom does I do this!  Mix and then quickly pour the entire batter into the HOT skillet.  You should hear a crackle, this is the crust forming, which will prevent it from sticking to your skillet.  Place skillet in the oven and cook until lightly golden brown.

In my oven, I heated my skillet with the oil at 450 degrees, then turned the oven to 400 to cook the cornbread.  I cooked it on a lower rack for 15-18 minutes, then moved it to the top rack on broil for the final 5 minutes.  You should be able to accurately tell how fast the bottom of the cornbread is cooking based on the crispness around the outside edge.  Admittedly my old oven has a slower broil than I recall my modern oven having, so watch closely!

You can slice the cornbread into wedges directly from the pan and serve, or you can turn it out similar to a cake on a plate so that the uniform bottom side is now up....a crisp layer, ready to be buttered!

If you really must have it sweet, add honey, it is lovely!  We LOVE it with a scoop of Homemade Pimento Cheese on top ~ it's reminiscent of a fancy grilled cheese, which sure is a treat for a gluten free girl!  There is really no way to go wrong, serve it next to pinto beans if you want to feel super Southern ;)

And....if you are new to cooking gluten free or possibly accommodating a guest in your home, TRUST ME, you may have to search to find gluten free cornmeal.  I read sooo many bags of "cornmeal" that all contained wheat or flour.  I suggest checking the designated gluten free section of your local grocer.

Yum.  I'm wishing I had some now!

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