I’ve been a little obsessed with cornbread lately. I think it’s because when I first went gluten-free, I was foolishly optimistic about still being able to eat cornbread, even though I was giving up a lot of other baked goods. Then I realized most recipes for cornbread still call for all-purpose flour! So I’ve been searching for naturally gluten-free cornbread recipes, and the new book by the legendary Jean Anderson, From a Southern Oven, came to my rescue. I’ve already written about the photoshoot for the book, but of course I had to give the recipes a try at home myself. If you look closely at the photo above, you’ll notice there are corn kernels in this recipe. What you do is pulse a pound of frozen corn kernels (thawed but not drained) in a food processor until it turns creamy but still a bit chunky. As if that wasn’t good enough, you mix eight ounces of sour cream into the batter — now we’re getting somewhere. Still not convinced? Well, in true Southern style, just before baking the cornbread you pour 1/4 cup of “hissing-hot” bacon drippings over the whole thing. That takes this cornbread way over the top. Amazing is a good word for it. This puts every other recipe for cornbread I’ve ever tried to shame.
So what did I serve it with? I cooked up a feast of recipes from the new Jean Anderson book. Well, the coleslaw was a bit improvised — you can see I like to add raisins to mine. The rice dish is called Georgetown Rice and Shrimp Pie with Bacon. There is no crust, but you bake make it with 1 1/2 pounds of shrimp and lots of bacon on top. Another winner, good enough to serve all on its own for dinner.
At the risk of bragging a bit, as if that all wasn’t good enough, I also made the Oven-Barbecued Chicken from From a Southern Oven. It’s pretty simple — you bake the chicken parts in water and garlic for about 45 minutes. Then you add a sauce made from tomato juice, butter, cider vinegar, honey, Worcestershire, and some spices and bake everything for another 45 minutes. The result is heavenly, tender chicken smothered in sauce. I made this all back in October, and it must have been a rainy day with all that cooking I did, but now that it’s cold outside, I’m thinking about doing it all over again.