Simple Cornbread Recipe with Corn & Honey (Low-Fat)
Corn bread is one of those universal American comfort foods. Whether you grew up eating southern cornbread alongside your fried chicken, or Mexican cornbread with your chili, chances are it's got a soft spot in your heart (or rather, stomach). This is the recipe I ate as a child, and having tasted quite a few other versions in my life, I've come to believe it is simply the best. It has everything you could want in it--corn, honey, cheese, onions--and is fully adaptable to suit the flavor profile of the rest of your meal, whatever it may be. Look below the recipe for my suggestions on delicious variations.
And so, without further ado, I give you...
The Best Cornbread Recipe
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 onion, finely minced
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup non-fat (skim) milk
- 1 egg
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or thawed frozen
- 1/2 cup grated low-fat cheddar cheese
Preheat your oven to 375°F. In a cast iron skillet (or oven-safe frying pan), heat your olive oil and add minced onions. Saute for 5 to 8 minutes over medium heat, or until the onions are just translucent, then set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, sift or whisk together your flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together milk, egg, and honey until combined. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until thoroughly blended. Add cooked onions, cheese, and corn kernels and mix to combine. Check that your cast iron skillet has been thoroughly greased by the oil from the onions. If not, be sure to do so. Pour the batter back into the skillet and bake 25-30 minutes, until firm and golden on top.
Notes and Variations
It doesn't get much simpler than that, does it? But the great thing about this easy cornbread recipe is that you can change it up to suit any palate. Here are some of my favorite variations:
- Roasted Corn Bread - I like to roast my corn before adding it to the batter, to bring out the sweetness. This is really easy to do, if you plan ahead. Just throw a corn cobs (with husk still on) in the oven for 30 minutes while it's heating up. Wait for the corn to cool, then strip the husks and cut the corn off the cob.
- Mexican Cornbread - Instead of cheddar cheese, use pepper jack. Consider sauteing some bell pepper or even a little finely-chopped jalapeño with your onions, adjusting the heat to your own personal preferences. You can also add some dry oregano and/or a little chipotle powder for extra flavor.
- Cheese Cornbread - If the cheese quotient just ain't cutting it for you, play with the types and amounts you add. I like to mix extra sharp cheddar and pepper jack, and depending on the rest of the meal, I'll use up to 1.5 cups of cheese total.
- Sweet Cornbread - Lots of people like their cornbread sweet... I mean, really sweet. If that's you, you want to avoid the onions and cheese, and mix the oil into the wet ingredients, adding 1-2 Tbsp additional honey or brown sugar, to taste. You might also want to roast your corn before adding it to the batter (see note #1).
And what if you don't have a cast iron skillet? Well, first of all, you should definitely think about getting one. But in the meantime, you can always spread your batter into an 8 x 8 square pan, and bake as instructed.