Fried cornbread is a staple in the south. It may be elsewhere too -and masquerading by some other name, for all I know. If you serve barbecue, you have to fry cornbread, too. It also pairs well with cabbage and collards. . .and ham. Many readers asked what fried cornbread was. The rabbit patch does it this way.
The recipe is quite simple, but cooking cornbread is not for the “faint of heart”. Do not even think about leaving the stove once you start-and you can not make this ahead of time, either. Cornbread does not keep. I I have yet to find any use for left over fried cornbread. Do not think this particular cornbread is ideal for stiffing a turkey. . . it is not. It does not crumble and is likely to toughen.
I do not know that cornbread is healthy, but I do know it has never killed anybody. It is a comfort food and sometimes that is the biggest benefit of a meal.
I will go ahead and state, I rarely measure anything-unless I am baking bread. . .so good luck. In a skillet pour vegetable oil so that it covers the bottom graciously. There should be enough oil so that some of it will rise above the batter. While the oil is heating, mix about a cup of corn meal-I like stone ground, but have even used self rising. Thin cornbread is very desirable and most likely to occur using stone ground. Some of you will be in a bind right now, as I hear this product is not found every where. I add a good bit of salt, as cornmeal is bland, and a generous amount of black pepper. You should be able to see the pepper when you have mixed these dry ingredients. Now you add hot water and stir as you do so. The consistensy should be more loose than cake batter and fluid enough to easily pour. Do not concern yourself with doubt about this-Whatever the appearance, the batter will fry. I usually add an egg now, so the concoction binds and does not shatter into pieces when cooked. The oil should be hot, to the point it about worries you, when you pour the batter. I make mine like the size of small pancakes. I look for bubbles to form, to know when to turn it, just as if it really were pancakes. This should be a quick process -and do not answer the phone, while you are cooking. Drain on paper towels and call everybody to the table.
My mama can bake cornbread that turns out about as crispy as the fried. I can not, though I aim to learn. Mamas’ turns out thin and full of flavor and gosh it is probably easier on the nerves. When I do I will let you know . . .you just have to find cornmeal. In October, when it is dark by supper, and the air is chilled . . corn bread is especially good.