CHEDDAR, CHIVE, AND BACON SKILLET CORN CAKE
There’s something about bringing a hot skillet right from oven to table. All the ingredients can be ready to go—all the dry ingredients in one bowl, the liquid mixed together in another and all that’s required is a quick stir and a quick bake. Admittedly in this case, there’s also a quick broil, but that’s only if you want a nice crispy top. And as usual, for me at least, the crispy part is the best part. For optimum flavour, use a well-aged cheddar cheese.
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour
1 cup (250 mL) cornmeal
1 tbsp (15 mL) sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
5 strips bacon, cooked, drained and broken into ¼ inch (5 mm) pieces
1 cup (250 mL) shredded white cheddar cheese, divided
½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped chives
¾ cup (175 mL) sour cream, room temperature ½ cup (125 mL) buttermilk, room temperature 2 eggs, room temperature
3 tbsp (45 mL) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly, plus 1 tbsp (15 mL) for the pan 2 tbsp (30 mL) canola or vegetable oil
1 to 2 tbsp (15 to 30 mL) chopped chives for garnish
1 Place a 10-inch (25-cm) skillet or cast iron pan on the middle rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
2 In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir in the bacon pieces, 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the shredded cheese and the chives. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream, buttermilk, eggs, 3 tbsp (45 mL) melted butter and the oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently with a rubber spatula until completely combined. 3 Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven and add the remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) of butter. Swirl the pan around to completely coat it with butter. Add the cornbread batter and spread it evenly in the pan. Return to the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until risen and just beginning to brown around the edges.
4 Remove the pan from the oven and preheat the broiler. Top the cornbread with the remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) of cheddar cheese. Place the pan under the broiler until the cheese is melted and turns light golden brown. Remove from oven, sprinkle chopped chives overtop, and serve directly from the pan. The corn cake can be reheated the next day, but the topping will no longer be crispy. Wrap it in foil and warm in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Serves 10