Until we moved to the US about 5 years ago, I'd never tasted cornbread - I know, what a waste! But now I've tasted cornbread, and I love cornbread! I think it works best with fried chicken, mashed potato and gravy, but it's also fabulous with Mexican food. And now I know it works with gumbo too.
I saw this Caramelised Onion and Bacon Cornbread recipe on Pinterest (of course) and it comes originally from Baked by Rachel, but I found her recipe a bit rambling and hard to follow. And she forgot to list the eggs in her ingredients list (thanks to my hubby who responded to my "Google cornbread recipes, fast!" squeal from the kitchen when I realised that something was missing).
I made it last night to go with the scrumptious Prawn Gumbo that hubby cooked (let me know if you want me to blog that recipe) and it worked a treat. I'll put the recipe below, with my comments in italics. I know it looks like loads of ingredients, but it's really dead easy to make. Let's get cooking!
Caramelised Onion & Bacon Cornbread
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 2 slices of bacon (I used all of one of those packs of cut up bacon bits you can find in the chiller cabinet at your supermarket - can a person ever have too much bacon?)
- 1/2 cup of melted unsalted butter (you all know that I've got a vendetta against unsalted butter, so my butter was salted)
- 1 tablespoon of butter (to cook the onions in)
- 2/3 cup sugar (seriously, this was too much sugar, I'd halve it next time)
- 1 teaspoon of sugar (to go in the onions)
- 1 cup of buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder (oops, I just realised I skipped this step and my cornbread didn't have this - still tasted and looked great)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup cornmeal (I'm sure you all know that cornmeal and polenta are the same thing - I didn't - and you've probably got a bag of polenta kicking around in your pantry which you bought with such good intentions. Use it now!)
- 1 cup flour (um, I forgot this too - must pay more attention to detail!)
- Heat skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon butter.
- Add onions, stirring until translucent (or until you get bored).
- Reduce heat a bit and sprinkle with half teaspoon of salt and the teaspoon of sugar.
- Stir occasionally and add a splash of water if you need it to keep onions moist (I didn't need to add any water).
- Cook until deep amber colour (I got bored and mine weren't that colour).
- Tip the onions out into a bowl and add the bacon to the skillet
- Cook until crispy and chop up into little bits (if you're using whole rashers, or you could just use the cut up stuff that I used)
- Preheat oven to 375f (I think that's about 180c - I cooked mine at 180c)
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or baking spray (I used that melty butter cooking stuff - worked a treat)
- In large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter and 2/3 cup of sugar.
- Whisk in eggs and then buttermilk.
- Add remaining dry ingredients (try not to forget the baking powder and normal flour like I did - sigh) and give it all a good stir
- Add bacon and caramelised onion and mix it all in
- Pour into loaf pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean
- Cool on wire rack and store in airtight container (if you don't eat it all!)