Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Maple Bacon Cornbread

If you're not already following 5 Star Foodie Culinary Adventures, you've really been missing out. Not only is Natasha an amazing and adventurous cook - hello, molecular gastronomy anyone?! - but she's also the host of a really fun event ... her popular 5 Star Makeover Challenge series.

Periodically, Natasha will invite her readers to put their spin on a specific dish or ingredient and she features all of the entries in one lovely, linky post. The entries are impressive and fun. Take a look at her 2009 Makeover recap, you'll see what I mean. This month, the challenge is cornbread.

Cornbread? You don't need to ask me twice! Muffins, pancakes, waffles ... you name it, if there's corn meal in it, I am totally there. And while the challenge is open to very broad interpretation - modern, healthy, fusion, ethnic, etc. - I didn't so much makeover my cornbread as make it better. Because everything's better with bacon, right?!

Maple Bacon Cornbread:
  • 1 cup of yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (I use grade B)
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup of non-fat milk (or any kind of milk)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 4 strips of crisp, cooked bacon, crumbled
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk well with a wire whisk to blend. Reserve.

In another bowl, combine the maple syrup, butter, milk and egg. Whisk well to blend. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir with a spatula until just combined. Add the crumbled bacon and fold in to distribute evenly. Pour the batter into a buttered, oven-safe baking dish and bake in the middle of a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove to a wire rack, serve and enjoy!

Cornbread is best served hot, so if you don't use it right away, reheat gently in the microwave or a toaster oven ... then lavish with butter. ~wink~

Now, I'm not a fan of sugary, cupcake-y cornbread - so don't expect that kind of texture or flavor here. Rather, this is a tender, crumbly, slightly salty, slightly sweet little bite of deliciousness. And don't expect a gigantic hit of maple either - its there, almost as a top-note, adding a delicate hint of sweet that pairs beautifully with the bacon. In a word, its spectacular.

If you're not a fan of maple syrup, feel free to substitute 1/4 cup of granulated sugar for the syrup. If you're a huge fan of maple syrup - you could certainly glaze the top of the bread with a layer of it, after it comes out of the oven. I can also envision using maple sugar in place of the syrup, if you're so inclined.

I'm submitting this recipe to 5 Star Foodie's Cornbread Makeover Challenge and I can't wait to see the rest of the entries. They'll be posted on Tuesday, February 2nd. If you'd like to join the fun, head over to 5 Star's place and read the rules of entry here. Entries must be received by Monday, February 1st.

And now I'm off to make some chili to go with that cornbread. Dinner's at 7:30pm, don't be late!

Bon appetite!

28 comments:

Mo Diva said...

you said bacon so naturally you had my attention from the start!

this recipe looks soo easy and I think it will make a great side for the welcome home party im throwing for the boyfriend

Megan said...

Mmm... those sound wonderful. I made some corn muffins once with bacon, onions, and corn in them. I know just how good the bacon must be in these.

I'd definitely be craving them if my boyfriend hadn't made corn muffins from scratch last night for us. I think it's the first thing he's ever baked for me (in our 2-plus years together)! I usually do all the cooking and baking.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Mo - this is totally easy and really tasty too. Let me know how it goes! :)

Megan - aw, how sweet that your sweetie made you corn muffins. Love it! I think some scallions, onions, or even shallots would be great in this recipe too. :)

doggybloggy said...

what a great cornbread idea - now when can I have some?

Christina said...

Oh yummy! Last night I was craving something maple syrupy and thought I'd bake w/ it. Perfect!

The Diva on a Diet said...

doggy - I'll be sure to bring some along whenever we schedule that picnic!

Christina - if you're craving something really maple-y, you may want to add more syrup, or brush the bread with some after its baked. And, now that I think of it, you could also make some maple butter to go with the bread. That would be divine!

Sarah said...

This sounds fabulous! I will be there at 7:15...I'm not missing this :)

stephchows said...

everything is better with bacon ;) this sounds great!

Tangled Noodle said...

I'm the same - I love the texture of cornmeal in my pancakes and will add a bit to any mix I have. Hmmmm, maybe I should try it with my aebleskivers? This woman could live on Maple Bacon Cornbread alone (but an accompanying bowl of chili wouldn't hurt).

Catherine said...

Mmmm, this sounds sooo good!

Anonymous said...

Diva Dad is compelled to respond. The best cornbread I ever had was made the traditional Southern way.
Gritty cornmeal, with honey, baked in a round, cast iron frying pan. The pan is greaded with real bacon fat. I worked with a Southern girl whose mother made it that way. It was truly fantastic.
Now I have had cornbread at Durgan Park (in Boston) at Dallas Barbeque,(NY City) and even Olive Blessing's (with chopped peppers). They are all good.

SSI said...

Bacon and syrup are always good together...even better in cornbread! Definitely one to put in my recipe box!

Maven said...

I love cornbread and I love bacon so I will definitely be trying this recipe!

words...words...words... said...

Oh hell. Maple bacon cornbread? You just hit three soft spots. If there's a better way to make cornbread, I don't know about it.

Ca88andra said...

I haven't made cornbread for years. If I wasn't feeling so worn out, I would try it!

Katherine Aucoin said...

I adore your cornbread! To think i loved it with honey, you've changed me!

Charmian @Christie's Corner said...

Love this. And where did you get your grade B maple syrup. It's really hard to find here and is so much more flavorful (despite the name).

Now I'm hankering for cornmeal with maple. Better check the fridge for supplies...

The Diva on a Diet said...

Thanks, all! It really was delicious - and best when fresh out of the oven. This one's a keeper for sure. :)

Papa Diva - I remember you speaking of that cornbread. If I can get my hands on some of that good, gritty cornmeal, I'll try and recreate it for you!

Charmian - I'm fortunate in that one of my markets always carries this brand of Grade B syrup. For me, its the only way to go - so much more flavor. Before I realized that this particular market stocked it, I used to get the Grade B from either the farmer's market or places up in Vermont.

I'd be surprised to hear that its not readily available in Canada?!?

Malou@IMPROMPTU said...

this looks so easy. i should give this to my daughter because the last time she made cornbread, it was as hard as a rock.and yeah you got me at BACON as i am a baconholic!

Lisa Michelle said...

Oh wow..I never thought I'd mutter 'come to mama' to cornbread, but damn, that cornbread looks and sounds so decadent, I can't help it. Plus, ANYTHING with bacon..OMG. You rock, Diva! I'm making this soon!

The Duo Dishes said...

Yes to bacon! Always. You can go bad with maple syrup (or honey) in cornbread either.

Spiele said...

sounds good wanna try it

Deb said...

Yum chili and cornbread - am I too late for leftovers?

5 Star Foodie said...

This cornbread sounds fantastic! I'm loving the sweet and salty combination with maple syrup and bacon here, excellent! Thank you so much for sending this over for the 5 star makeover and for such wonderful words about my site :)

Dana McCauley said...

No! Not more bacon! Since it's you Diva, I will say this gently: I'm baconed out. Really, truly. There, I've admitted it publicly.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Dana - the devil made me do it! ;)

I know you're bacon-ed out. At least I didn't post a bacon themed dessert ... though it would be awful good in some peanut brittle! LOL

Brad said...

Great recipe, I found it at the 5 Star Roundup. Bacon and maple are great together, but add cornbread and its a party. Thanks for the recipe.

Joanne said...

Yes. Everything tastes better with bacon. And I didn't think that cornbread could get much better. Awesome recipe!