Tuesday, May 29, 2012


To say that life has been unsettled lately would be an understatement.  Orion, DH’s father, had surgery a few weeks back.  DH spends most of his time helping to care for his father.  Most of my spare time is spent visiting with Orion and preparing food for those who come and go. 

Cooking away from home requires planning, especially when it’s in Orion’s kitchen, which is woefully inadequate.  Anything more than heating up a can of soup or frying an egg means bringing ingredients and equipment from home. When I was cooking professionally pack-kitchen-will-travel was easier--the pack in and out lists lived on the computer and could be printed by pushing a button.  No longer!  Even the most careful planning can’t always accommodate menu changes that happen once I’ve arrived at my destination.

My laptop, which accompanies me on home-away-from-home culinary excursions, contains most of my recipes. which means recipes are rarely a problem.  Equipment is often a different story.  Several weeks ago I found myself having to punt.  Cornbread was on the menu.  Ingredients were not a problem, but a pan was!  All I had to work with was a cast iron skillet.  What to do?  What to do?  Adapt the recipe, of course.  The batter needed to be strong enough to support the structure of the bread in this much larger pan.  A little more leavening?  Sure, why not?  It worked, and Skillet Cornbread was a huge hit.  

Since that day two weeks ago, the recipe has been made three times, and has performed consistently.  Each time, delicious!  Particularly, when the day old bread is cut in half, the cut sides slathered with butter, and grilled to a crisp golden brown in a hot skillet.  On, yum!

Skillet Cornbread

2 c. flour
2 c. cornmeal
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 eggs
2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. butter

Preheat oven to 450.  Select a 9 or 10 inch cast iron skillet and lightly coat with canola oil.  Place in preheated oven. 
Measure flour, cornmeal, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and brown sugar into a bowl.  Stir to combine.   

Measure milk into a 4 c. measure.  Add the eggs and canola oil, and beat with a fork to combine.  Pour into dry ingredients and mix with the fork just until combined.  Remove the heated skillet from the oven and place on a flat surface.  Using a rubber spatula scrape the batter into the hot skillet.  Smooth the surface and put the pan back into the oven.  Bake at 450 for 20 minutes or until a pick inserted into the middle of the bread comes clean.   

Remove the cooked bread from the oven and place on a flat surface.  Using the tines of a fork rub the 2 Tbsp. of butter over the hot surface of the cornbread.  Allow the bread to cool for 20 minutes before serving.  To serve, slice into thick wedges.