We HEART cornbread.Part of me wishes I had a standard cornbread recipe, but the real part of me loves the fact that we make it differently every time. Like these savory fried cornbread cakes. Don’t get me wrong, the general guidelines are the same. Meal, some flour, egg, oil of some sort, liquid, etc. But that’s where the fun begins. This is Cornbread #9. It has hot sauce in it. (Don’t freak out on me.)
Cornbread Recipe #9 – Fried Cornbread Cakes
If I ever really really want something and am trying to sweet talk my husband into it, all it takes is some fried cornbread. He’s pretty much a softie when it comes to cornbread. Or anything cooked in a cast iron skillet, for that matter.
Anytime he comes home and sees me get the corn meal out, he’s “Are you making cornbread?” and his eyes light up.
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Problem is, I don’t make cornbread from the same recipe, and I have a habit of cornbread experimentation. (See Cornbread #23.)
Don’t act like you don’t have a favorite bowl. Well, maybe you don’t? I do. One day when I am all grown up, I will have a room full of vintage bowls.
My husband is thinking “Isn’t that our kitchen?” But I want another room full of them.
When he saw me shake the hot sauce in this cornbread recipe, he shook his head. But he didn’t say anything. He knows better.
Why did I add Frank’s Red Hot to our cornbread recipe? I wasn’t really looking for heat, but I wanted an extra zing of flavor. The vinegary, peppery sauce was just the thing. I added it to the milk and egg mixture.
The hot sauce gave the cornbread batter just a little tint, a pinkish-orange. But it cooked out into a yellow. (Next time, I may really sauce them up and try to make them orange, just for fun.)
Lumps and bubbles are a good thing in cornbread. Just let the baking soda and salt do their thing.
The frying part can be a little tricky. You really need to get to know your cast iron skillet. Give her a name. Mine is Lucille. Then you have to get to know your stove. (Mine’s name is Marcus.)
Since cast iron holds heat so well, you might have to lower your temperature after a batch or two. For me, the trick is to get the oil nice and hot before starting. I wait until the oil shimmers, and if you drop a little drop of water into it, it sputters and pops.
If you get the oil too hot, naturally the fried cornbread cakes will burn. A little brown on these is actually awesome, great flavor. But too much, that’s just not tasty. If the oil isn’t hot enough, they will still cook, but they will absorb way too much oil. This will make them heavy and rather unappetizing and greasy.
There is no secret to getting it just right, it takes practice. And practicing cornbread is a tasty thing to do.
Cornbread Recipe #9 - Fried Cornbread Cakes
- 2 cups self-rising cornmeal
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 TB sugar
- 1/2 stick butter melted
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 eggs
- 3 TB Frank's hot sauce
- Vegetable oil for cooking divided
- Combine all ingredients. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium high. Add approximately 2 TB of the oil and when the oil starts to shimmer and a water droplet will sputter and pop in it, carefully pour the cornbread batter in 1/4 cup sized cakes.
- When the top bubbles and the bottom is browned (about 2-3 minutes), flip the corn cake. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until browned.
- Repeat until all batter is cooked. Makes about 16-24 cornbread cakes depending on the size you make them.
- You will need to keep a close eye on your pan and oil temperature. If it gets too hot, the outside will burn before the insides are done. If it is too low, the corn cakes will absorb too much oil and be greasy. Medium to medium high is our suggested temperature range.
- Drain on newspaper or brown paper bags. Serve warm. Excellent with chili, beans, black-eyed peas, or with butter.