This Cornbread recipe is great for a family dinner and it’s so versatile too. It’s a great way to use up leftovers. Plus it’s a bit unusual because of its American heritage, so it might not be something you’ve had before. I have served it to visitors and it’s been very well received. It looks lovely when it comes to the table all golden in a big pie dish!
The Hairy Bikers’ original recipe for Texan Cornbread was my starting point, and it uses beef mince as the filling. It has a lot of chilli and cheese, which I’ve always swapped out. The version I am showing today is one we use for Meat Free Mondays (which in our house usually falls on a Tuesday!).
150g polenta – that’s the uncooked grains, not the ready-cooked slabs. I buy it in Sainsbury’s as it’s not available in Asda. You can use American yellow cornmeal if you have access to US imports, it’s the same thing.
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 carton of buttermilk approx. 300 ml
1 tin of sweetcorn – don’t drain it, use the liquid too. Or cook 150g of sweetcorn from frozen and reserve a tablespoon of the cooking water.
1 teaspoon of sugar (optional)
60g of grated cheddar
You need around 300g of filling. I am using diced halloumi cheese fried in a tablespoon of fajita seasoning.
Alternative fillings: Mince fried with spicy seasoning, chilli con carne, bolognaise sauce, leftover curry, spicy chicken or diced and spiced-up leftover Sunday roast. Make sure there is not too much runny sauce with your filling.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 C fan) or gas mark 4. Heat a 23cm (9 inch) pie dish in the oven with a tablespoon of fat such as goose fat, lard or cooking oil.
Mix the polenta, salt and bicarb in a bowl. Using a blender, puree the sweetcorn with its liquid and the sugar. Add the eggs and whisk them up too. Tip this into the dry ingredients with the buttermilk and mix thoroughly.
When the oil in the pie dish is hot, tilt it around until the oil speads out over the base of the dish. Then pour in half the batter. It will bubble up at the edges. Spoon the filling in evenly. Quickly stir the grated cheddar into the remaining batter then pour it over the top.
Bake in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes until the cornbread is golden brown. Serve with sweet chilli dipping sauce and some steamed vegetables or refried beans. Makes 4 to 6 servings depending on your side dishes.
If you make it, do let me know how you get on in the comments below, or tweet me @falcondalejan
This recipe was adapted from the Hairy Bikers Texan Cornbread recipe which appears in the BBC book “The Hairy Bikers Family Cookbook – Mums Know Best”. It’s the only recipe I think is worth making out of that book, to be honest. I’m sure they have published better books!
I had some cravings for French food recently, read about it here
I collect recipes on this Pinterest board, take a look.