Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Sourcream Coconut Cornbread

Oops I did it again. Another insult to the South. I put flour in a cornbread recipe. Not only that, I used baking powder and baking soda. Good god, I can see the Dixie Mafia foodies on corporate food blogs burning a cross for me as I write this. I confess, I did think "cream-style corn" in a can they like so much, but thank god it was fleeting.

Instead, I turned to fresh corn and creamed it myself. Creaming corn according to XYZ taste wheel methods goes like this:

Coconut Creamed Corn
8 oz petite sweet corn niblets, fresh or frozen
1 cup evap milk
1 - 2 Tb Molasses
Coriander, Cumin, Chili Powder, Coffee
[1/2 tsp of the spices and 1/5 cup strong black coffee]
2 Tb Coconut Cream
1/3 cup Coconut flakes unsweetened

If you want, add 1/3 cup raisins drowned in cognac. This will change the straight-up savory earthy flavor which counterpoints well with an apple-carrot-celery winter soup or an Irish stew. Or else, add 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, or a few cones of piloncillo/jaggery melted in hot water.

Put it all in a pot, stir well, and put on real low heat for a while. Do NOT slime it up with corn syrup and corn starch please.

Here's the recipe for what is actually known as 6-C cornbread in my kitchen - Coriander, Cumin, Chili Powder, Coffee, Corn, Coconut.

Dry Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking POWDER
1 tsp baking SODA
(Note there is no added sugar in this recipe because the corn has that)

Wet Ingredients:
1 Cup Sour Cream
3 eggs
1 stick butter, melted.
1 can's (14-16oz) worth coconut cream style corn as above

The usual cornbread drill: Mix dry well, make a well, mix wet well, add to the well, mix the mix well. Pour in an 8 by 8 buttered pan.

Bake at 380 for 35 minutes, and 400 for 5 minutes. Or 385 for 40 minutes. Depends on whether you have added the raisins or not. Without the coconut its 375 for 40. A stick inserted in the middle should come out clean.

The coconut flakes add a subtle crunch and satisfying texture. It looks like cake, but tastes like rich savory bread, pure corn bread. It has deep, earthy tones; it is moist with a good solid crumb around the corn niblets.

The molasses provides a springboard for the other spices. You can also serve this with those very spicy chili recipes you do for chili contests. It has not a whit of sweet, and you don't want to sugar it up, instead you might just want to do the raisin version.


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