I know! I know. I’ve been gone.
It’s not that I haven’t been cooking. On the contrary, I’ve been cooking like a maniac. I’m working on a recipe development project for a corporate client, which means most workdays, three or four recipes come streaming out of my pen. So I’ve been cooking – that is, when I’m not planning, shopping, researching, or typing. There’s a little army of Tupperware containers marching out my front door every day, headed to neighbors and friends, because we simply cannot eat the volume I’ve been producing.
I’ve loved it, except for three things: First, the culinary brainstorming involved has left me spent in the ideas department. When we have room for a meal I don’t have to write about, I’ve been gravitating toward the simplest things. Lettuce from the back yard with oil and vinegar. Grilled asparagus. Cereal for breakfast. Cereal for dinner.
I also don’t like how when you sell a recipe to someone, you don’t always get to sell the exact recipe you wanted to create. (I once heard something about the customer always being right . . .)
The project, unfortunately, also does not involve much baking. I thought this was a good thing, when I took it on, but I didn’t account for 55 degrees and raining on the first morning in July.
This morning, I addressed all three, with a simple, unique-to-me, warming cornbread recipe that hits the dessert key without being overly sweet. I’ll bring one loaf as a gift this weekend, when we camp at a friend’s cabin in the mountains, and we’ll eat the other for breakfast in our tent, smeared with jam and probably a little dirt, when Graham gets up at 5 a.m.
If you’re giving the bread as a gift, or just want it to look extra adorable, pop a sprig of fresh rosemary onto the batter before the bread goes into the oven. Then hurry it to the lucky recipient while it’s still warm, with good butter and a jar of creamed honey.
TIME: 10 minutes active time
MAKES: 2 (8” by 4”) loaves
Vegetable oil spray or butter, for greasing pans
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup half and half
3/4 cups whole milk
2 large eggs
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two (8” by 4”) loaf pans, and set aside.
Whisk the dry ingredients to blend in a large bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients together in a different bowl, then add to the dry ingredients, and stir until no dry spots remain.
Divide the batter between the prepared loaf pans, smooth with a spatula, and bake until brown at the edges and just cracking in the center, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pans, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.