Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Broccoli Cheddar Cornbread

A few weeks back, my husband and I were at a group tailgate for our alma mater. It was a cold day and the first snowfall of the season was happening. In order to stay warm, we were all huddled together enjoying our favorite cold weather foods. One of the ladies we were with brought a slow cooker full of chili beans and a dish of broccoli cornbread. "Broccoli cornbread?" I was astonished. I had never heard of such. However, once I took the first bite, I was in love. I immediately gave a piece to my husband, who, reluctantly, took his first bite; I could tell by the look on his face that he was shocked! I had to have this recipe.
Once I got home, I began thinking about how I could make the recipe my own. The lady who brought it used a store bought boxed cornbread mix as the base. While I have nothing against using these products, I always have cornmeal on hand and did not want to spend money to purchase something unnecessary. As I stirred  up the first batch, I was a little skeptical. However, I pushed through and, to my delight, it turned out perfectly.
This delicious, unexpected bread comes out tender and moist but with a crisp crust. The flavor combination is that of a wonderful cornbread muffin and broccoli cheddar soup. This recipe is definitely a keeper!
1 Stick Butter
1/3 Cup Finely Diced Onion
4 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
6 Ounces Frozen Broccoli
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 1/2 Cups Mild Cheddar Cheese
1 Tablespoon Sugar
2 Cups Self-Rising Cornmeal
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
1. Place the stick of butter into a 8 inch cast iron skillet. While the oven is preheating, set the pan inside to allow the butter to melt and the pan to get hot.
2. While the oven comes to temperature, prepare the rest of the batter. In a large mixing bowl, combine the onion, egg, and broccoli. Sprinkle with salt and stir. Add the cheese and sugar. Mix to completely coat.
3. Add the self-rising corn meal to the wet ingredients. Stir until combined.
4. Once the butter is melted, carefully pour the melted butter into the batter. Add the oil to the pan and return to the oven for 3 minutes.
5. While the oil gets hot, stir the batter until the butter is incorporated. The batter will be VERY thick. Do not panic. This is how it is supposed to be at this stage. As the batter cooks, the moisture from the broccoli and the cheese will create perfection.
6. Remove the pan from the oven. Carefully add the batter to the pan. Using a spatula or your fingers, press the batter into an even layer.
7. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees until dark golden brown on top.
8. Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes before turning out onto the serving dish.
9. Slice and enjoy!