Talk of joy: there may be things better than beef stew and baked potatoes and home-made bread – there may be.
We, as a family, have a passionate relationship with good bread. We seek out artesan bakeries and relish new finds. Not for us the supermarket government loaves; we lust for ciabatta, baguettes, pumpernickel and rye.
Strangely, baking bread has never been a focus in my kitchen and I’ve resolved to change this in the new year. I started my efforts with a super beer bread from Andy Fenner’s recipe and was extremely proud of the praises from my husband:
As if to endorse my resolve, I opened the new Taste magazine this morning to Mariana Esterhuizen’s page (always my first read in the magazine) and found a recipe for corn bread in a skillet. Easy and perfect for the salad I was planning for lunch.
Now to get busy with the real stuff.
I’m off to get some yeast.
CORN BREAD IN A SKILLET
(Mariana is a chef who owns a delicatessen and bistro in the quaint little village of Stanford in the Western Cape.)
Butter, for greasing
1 cup maize meal or polenta
1 cup cake flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup sweet corn kernels
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup diced green pepper
4 tablespoons chopped coriander
3 jumbo-sized free-range eggs
1 cup yoghurt or buttermilk
3 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 26cm cast iron skillet (with an ovenproof handle) very well with butter. Sift the maize meal, cake flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the vegetables and coriander and stir into the dry ingredients. Beat the eggs lightly in a jug, then stir in the buttermilk and olive oil. Pour into mixing bowl and stir until combined.
Pour into the skillet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes (mine took 50 minutes) or until top is browned.