I’m a little embarrassed, because I’ve been meaning to share this recipe with you since, oh I dunno…Thanksgiving. Remember that holiday? It was only 3 1/2 weeks ago, although it feels like it was about 13 lifetimes ago. Once again, I lost weeks of my life to learning about a single organ in the body. This time, the kidneys. I suppose I should just get used to this by now, but it still kind of amazes me how it happens.
Let’s chat for just a hot second about boys. And hanging out with them. I like hanging out with boys. They’re funny, and they don’t say judgy things about people they know, and they don’t care if I don’t want to wash my hair. (Sometimes the Weatherman cares, but he just has to deal with these things now.) They usually have the foods in their house that I can’t buy for my own house (because then I would eat only chips and cheez-its), they like to drink beer, and they will ALWAYS devour anything I bake. Really. Anything. Even if it’s not my best work.
Now, usually I can hold my own with boys. I know and care about some sports, and I don’t own a hair dryer which tends to limit my ability to converse about girl-y things. And really, what else do you need to talk to boys?
Sometimes though, the sports convos get deep. They say names of people I’ve never heard of, or quote stats that I don’t have room in my brain for. (“for which I don’t have room in my brain,” I know, I’m sorry.) And then what can I do besides sit there and eat french fries? Exactly.
So what I’m saying is this: I like to hang out with boys, but an escape mechanism is necessary. In most cases, french fries are an acceptable escape mechanism. If the situation gets drastic, you may need to steal the TV remote, hope that no one notices, and turn on Bravo.
The next time you hang out with boys, girls, adults, or children, you should bring this cornbread! Even though I made it for Thanksgiving, it will work wonderfully for Christmas dinner, any holiday breakfast or brunch, or a winter-y soup night. I love sage and wish I could eat it in everything, but if you don’t, the cheese and herb combos are endless. I’ve made a version with cheddar, cayenne, and smoked paprika before as well…perfect accompaniment to chili!
Cheddar and Sage Cornbread
Makes one 9×13-inch pan, about 18 pieces of cornbread
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
3 TBS granulated sugar
2 TBS baking powder
2 tsp salt2 cups buttermilk (regular milk will work too)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten (the original calls for 3 extra-large eggs, but I never have that size on hand)
1 cup (= 2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
3/4 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed and drained of any water
8 oz. white cheddar or sharp yellow cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup chopped fresh sage
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
2. In a separate medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix gently with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until just combined (most of the flour/cornmeal lumps should be gone). Stir in corn kernels, 2 cups of the grated cheddar, and the sage (you should have some cheese left over). Let the batter rest for about 20 minutes at room temperature.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F with a rack in the middle position. Grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
4. After the batter has rested, pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining grated cheddar over the top of the batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the top is dry and a tester inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cornbread keeps for 2 days stored in an airtight container. (Make ahead: Bake and let the cornbread cool completely. Cut into squares and wrap 6 squares together in foil. Freeze wrapped cornbread in freezer safe ziploc bags for up to 3 weeks. Thaw at room temperature for a few hours, then warm in the oven at 350 wrapped in foil.)
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten via Food Network
Thanks for reading, happy baking!