Saturday, August 18, 2012


1 1/4 cups coarse yellow cornmeal
2 cups cultured buttermilk
6 slices thick-cut bacon
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup fresh or frozen sweet corn kernels
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup Sriracha

In a mixing cup, combine the cornmeal and buttermilk. Cover and leave at room temperature 4-6 hours, or overnight. After the cornmeal finishes its long buttermilk bath, preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a 10-inch cast iron skillet placed inside. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over moderate heat, cook the bacon until it nears crispy. Drain off the rendered fat, reserving for later use. Allow the bacon slices to cool, then dice into pieces. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix in the sugar and salt. Pour in the eggs, butter, corn, cheese, bacon pieces, and the cornmeal/buttermilk mixture. Mix until combined. Using a hot pad, carefully remove the hot skillet from the preheated oven. Slowly pour the reserved bacon fat into the skillet. (The grease should hiss and pop upon contact. If not, return your skillet to the oven for another 10-15 minutes until it gets good and hot.) Pour the cornbread batter into the hot, greased skillet. Working briskly, spoon the Sriracha throughout the batter to create swirly "veins" of Sriracha that will be visible in the finished bread. Using a hot pad, quickly return the skillet to the oven. Decrease the oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Allow the cornbread to cool slightly in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn it out onto a plate to cool for an additional 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

bacon recipe courtesy of: The Sriracha Cookbook: 50 "Rooster Sauce" Recipes that Pack a Punch, by Randy Clemens. Ten Speed Press, 2011

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