Sunday, July 15, 2012

caramelized onion and bacon skillet cornbread

...or corn salsa mash-up cornbread. This is another hot mess I concocted, inspired by, and a million apologies to, my muse at Smitten Kitchen. 
It starts with her Corniest Corn Muffin recipe which I only just now noticed, she adapted from another of my muses, Dorie Greenspan. I've made this as a skillet cornbread countless times and it's brilliant just as is...but of course I can't leave well enough alone.
I was having coffee the other morning, looking forward to an aimless day off. I had one brief errand to run which involved pedaling over to the Haight Ashbury to meet up with my nephew. He lives there with his two twenty-something roommates. I pondered what kind of kitchen gift I should bring by for a trio of slacker dudes and I knew it had to involve bacon....skillet...corn...bread. I wondered how the corn salsa would work in skillet cornbread and this evolved.
I have a medium sized cast iron skillet that works perfectly for this. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. I lump two heaping tablespoons of bacon fat into the skillet and place that in the oven while it pre-heats.
I let it go for a good 30 minutes as cast iron takes awhile to really heat through.
I prepare the corn muffin batter as instructed. Carefully pull the hot skillet out of the oven and swirl a few seconds to coat the sides with the hot grease as well, then carefully but quickly pour the batter will immediately sizzle as the batter will begin to fry. Place it back into the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the top is slightly golden and a wooden skewer poked into the center comes out clean.
I set the skillet on the stove top for about 5 minutes then onto a wire rack for another 15 minutes. Then flip it out of the skillet onto the wire rack and let it cool for another 10 minutes.

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