slices of pimento cheese cornbread

Pimento Cheese Cornbread

December 26, 2021

slices of pimento cheese cornbread

Enjoy foods for good luck this New Year’s. Not only Hoppin’ John, but also cornbread which symbolizes gold and prosperity. Black eye peas resemble coins and greens reflect paper money. Increase your chances with this Pimento Cheese Cornbread, combining two popular southern cooking exports: pimento cheese and buttermilk based tender cornbread.

Best of all, this cornbread can be made ahead and frozen. Toasting gives it new life and wedges can be baked, placed in the toaster or heated in a countertop toaster oven.You may think the shredded cheese will smoke and wreak havoc, but this is not the case.

Well seasoned cast iron skillets yield the crustiest cornbread. Make thrift shopping and antiquing your pastime until you find the perfect one. Ten inch skillets are best and most versatile. After these skillets resemble sleek black vessels, they are practically non-stick, without the worry of chemicals.

ingredients for pimento cheese cornbread

simple ingredients for a simply delicious cheesy cornbread

Many cornbread recipes combine flour with cornmeal. Mine is simple, tastes of toasted corn, without the fluff of flour. Shredded cheese binds all together with chewy tenderness; you want to shred the cheese by hand. Pre-shredded cheeses are fine for most recipes, but they contain starches to keep shreds distinct. You want your cheese to melt into the batter.

The secret to a crisp crust is heating the skillet with oil first, then pouring batter in to hear that welcome sizzle. Bits of cheese and diced pimento get caramelized at the edges. Make this in a nice round skillet and everyone gets the crusty edge piece.

whole pimento cheese cornbread

I wish you the very best of luck in 2022!

Pimento Cheese Cornbread

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

makes 8-12 servings

ingredients

8 ounce brick white or yellow sharp cheddar, shredded by hand, at room temp
4 ounce jar diced pimentos, drained
1 ½ cup white or yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 large eggs, room temp
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons neutral oil like canola

directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Whisk together cornmeal, baking powder and soda, sugar and salt in mixing bowl.
  3. Add neutral oil (avoid olive oil which smokes) to heavy 10 inch cast iron skillet or 2 quart baking dish and place in oven.
  4. While oil heats, in another mixing bowl whisk eggs with buttermilk.
  5. Toss shredded cheese by hand with dry ingredients (this coats shreds and allows even distribution) and add to buttermilk mixture.
  6. Add drained pimentos and use spatula to mix all; okay if some lumps remain.*
  7. After 10 minutes in the oven, oil in skillet will be heated; swirl skillet to coat bottom and up the sides, then add the cornbread batter, carefully avoiding splatters.
  8. Bake until golden on top and crusty at edges, about 20-30 minutes depending on depth of baking vessel.
  9. Serve hot with butter, or if storing, cool to room temp and freeze.
  10. In the frozen state, cut wedges, let sit at room temp until defrosted about 20 minutes, then toast as follows : wedge side down in toaster or directly on rack in oven or toaster oven, until crisped.
  11. Will also last at room temp up to 3 days, but stales quickly in the fridge.

*don’t allow batter to rest longer than a couple minutes since baking powder will lose its leavening

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