Cornbread is enjoying a resurgence at the moment with the ‘tex-mex’ theme that is gaining popularity. Its texture is one that can handle almost any flavour you can throw at it which means you can be as inventive as you like. Any spicy seasoning or flavour can be removed or added to this recipe to match your taste.
If you want heat, add chili, if you want more aromatics, just stir them in. But the worst thing you can do to cornbread is leave it bereft of any flavour at all. It is naturally dry so don’t serve it bland – it just won’t work. Saucy dishes or soups are an ideal partner at the table.
In this recipe I worked on the basis of cheese and onion and added the seasonings that lift it higher, such as cumin and nutmeg. Don’t hold back on the salt or pepper either.
350g polenta (or cornmeal)
75g plain flour
150g cheddar cheese, grated
4 spring onions, finely spliced
1 tsp olive oil, plus extra for the spring onions
1tsp baking powder
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and prepare a 20cm cake tin by lining the base with backing paper or silicon.
Sauté the spring onions in a small amount of oil until they are caramelized and set them aside to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, add the polenta, plain flour, spices and baking powder. Add the eggs, milk, olive oil, cooled spring onions and half of the cheddar cheese. Mix until all the ingredients are combined.
Spoon the mixture in to the prepared cake tin and sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese across the top. Bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes.
Remove it from the cake tin and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Cut a wedge and serve with butter. Your favourite tomato relish would make a delicious accompaniment.