Sunday, September 14, 2014

Rosemary Lime Cornbread

We're talking about cornbread today!  I made a delicious vat of pulled pork; a vinegary sweet mix of pork that both Husband and I thoroughly enjoyed.  The pulled pork recipe I used came from the Food Network website, and I've pinned it for constant future use.  I thought about making some homemade wheat buns to make pork sandwiches, but inspiration struck and I needed cornbread.

After searching Pinterest for all my past cornbread pins, I found two recipes, one by Deb at Smitten Kitchen, and one by Joy the Baker.  I hemmed and hawed and vacillated between the two, and then threw the decision out the window and combined both.  The only way to do things.  I hate decisions. 

The best thing about Joy's recipe is the genius move of rubbing herbs and zest into sugar to create a crazy flavorful base that makes this cornbread something really different.  You can see what looks like some weird green situation above... That's the sugar and zest and rosemary.  The smell is killer.

The best thing about Deb's recipe is that it has a base of sour cream (or Greek yogurt in my recipe) that cuts a lot of the fat, but keeps a delicious moisture and tang.  Plus, I love the spicy kick from the aleppo pepper.  Because I don't have aleppo, I used a small pinch of cayenne.  I also used one of my most favorite recent food acquisitions, Mike's Hot Honey.  This stuff is amazing; spicy sweet goodness.  I got my bottle from Mountain Town Olive Oil here in Salt Lake, but you can order it online, too. If you don't have any hot honey, just add an extra pinch or two of cayenne plus a couple teaspoons of honey added with the regular one tablespoon called for below.

The last crazy thing I did was to use a touch of carrot juice and lime juice.  I don't know that they actually make that much of a difference, so if you don't have one or the other of these, you can just nix them both and up the milk to 1/3 cup.  I like to think, though, that the juices add just a touch extra zip (lime) and sweetness (carrot) that round the flavor out.

Rosemary Lime Cornbread
Yield 1 9x5 pan, about 8-12 servings
Inspired via here and here

2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. lime zest
1 Tbs. fresh rosemary, chopped
1 c. flour
1 c. cornmeal
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch cayenne
1 egg
1 c. plain greek yogurt
1/4 c. milk
1 Tbs. carrot juice
1 tsp. lime juice
1 Tbs. honey
2 tsp. hot honey
2 Tbs. olive oil
optional: almonds for decorating

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a 9x5 loaf pan, a muffin pan, or any variation of smaller pans (I used a round 6" cake pan and a mini loaf pan.)

Combine the sugar, zest, and rosemary in a large bowl, and rub it together with your fingers to release the yummy oils into the sugar.  Add the remaining dry ingredients (flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and cayenne) and whisk to fully mix.

In a small bowl, combine all wet ingredients (egg, yogurt, milk, juices, honeys, and oil) and whisk thoroughly to remove the majority of lumps.  Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and mix just to incorporate fully.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s) and, if using, place almonds in a decorative pattern on top of the batter.  I used rosemary marcona almonds from Trader Joe's.  Bake until just turning golden on top, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes for a loaf or cake pan.

This stuff is amazing smothered with butter and honey, but promise me you'll take a bite of it plain and warm.  Major flavor explosion.