[4 minute read]
The Southern region of the United States is known for its comfort food, also known as “soul” food (because it comforts your soul!). And in the state of Texas, at Thanksgiving, or really for any other big, home cooked meal, cornbread is essential.
According to the magazine Southern Living, cornbread is a side dish that originated in Native American cuisine. Corn was a staple crop for the Native Americans, and would grind it up and mix it with water to make a type of corn-based bread. This dish stayed in the region after the settlers came, where they adapted it and started incorporating more ingredients to enrich its taste and texture—thus, cornbread was born. Today, my family makes cornbread to go along with chili, beans, and especially at Thanksgiving (just in a larger batch so that there’s enough to go around for the whole family!)
Cornbread is a very simple-tasting dish. It is a little bit dry and has a very prominent corn taste that is slightly sweet, thanks to the addition of sugar to balance out the saltiness of the other ingredients. It is typically made in a cast-iron skillet and is best served warm (not hot) and with a smear of butter on top. To “spice up” your cornbread, you can even add different herbs, candied bacon, or jalapeños (for some literal spice!)
Get together with your friends and have a traditional Southern feast! This recipe goes very well with other Southern dishes typical in Texas (my home state) such as chili (recipe here), barbecue, sweet iced tea (recipe here), pickles or fried okra, and for dessert, pecan pie (recipe here)! If you decide to make this recipe for your next Thanksgiving, pair it with a traditional turkey, pumpkin pie (recipe here), and cranberry sauce (recipe here)! Don’t forget to wear your cowboy hat and boots for a truly Texan experience. If you think that making it for a Thanksgiving or family meal is a little too ambitious, now is the perfect time to practice making it at home!
Here is a recipe for cornbread taken from this website!
- 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups reduced fat buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and divided
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place an oven-proof 10-inch cast iron skillet in the oven.
- In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and 3 tablespoons butter. Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula just until moist.
- Remove skillet from the oven and add remaining 3 tablespoons until heated through, about 1-2 minutes.
- Working carefully, immediately scoop the batter into the hot skillet. Place into oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes.
- Serve warm.
Veronica is a rising senior majoring in International Relations. She was born in Tyler, Texas, and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. Before transferring to USC, she attended Kilgore College in Kilgore, Texas, where she was a part of the school’s world-renowned dance team, the Kilgore College Rangerettes. She loves to listen to music, watch Forensic Files, learn about different countries and their cultures, and is proficient in Portuguese and Spanish. She is very excited to meet all the students at ALI and wishes them the best in their time at USC!