Nana's Skillet Corn Bread

As a boy, chef Scott Howell remembers his grandmother using her cast iron skillet almost exclusively for making this incredibly moist corn bread. Like most Southern cooks, she used self–rising cornmeal. Howell subsitutes coarse stone–ground cornmeal for added flavor.

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  • Servings: Makes one 9-inch corn bread

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  • 1 1/4 cups coarse stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Heat a 9-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the cornmeal with the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the lightly beaten eggs, milk and buttermilk until blended, then stir in the melted butter.

  2. Pour the bacon fat into the hot skillet and swirl it around until the skillet is evenly greased. Pour the batter into the skillet and bake for 20 minutes, or until the corn bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the skillet for 5 minutes, then turn the corn bread out on a cutting board. Cut the corn bread into wedges and serve warm.

Make Ahead

The corn bread can be baked earlier in the day and reheated in a 350° oven.

Contributed By Photo © Maura McEvoy Published April 2001

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