Thursday, January 7, 2010


Several years ago, my mom, my sister and I were fortunate to attend a cooking class in Houston featuring a wonderful & gifted chef, Chef Jaime Shannon of Commander's Palace in New Orleans. Sadly, shortly after the class, the culinary world lost this amazing young chef due to illness. For months, before Christmas that year, our parents worked diligently to season two beautiful cast iron skillets, one for each my sister and I. They were ready to bake this cornbread as soon as we received them. Needless to say, this cornbread left quite an impression on us! This is not your grandma’s cornbread. What makes this one so much lighter than most is that we make it like a souffle. We lightly fold in the ingredients instead of stirring them in. We whip the egg whites to a peak so that we fold in lots of air. Then we fold in the sour cream, too. We bake it in a cast-iron skillet and when it comes out steaming and golden brown on top. Mmmmmmm good. 2¼ cups yellow cornmeal 1½ cups all-purpose flour 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt 1 tablespoon baking powder ⅔ cup sugar 3 medium eggs, separated 2½ cups buttermilk ¾ cup sour cream 4 jalapeno peppers, cores, membranes and seeds removed, in small dice 1 red bell pepper, diced 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, in small dice PREHEAT THE SKILLET SEASONED WITH LOVE BY MOM IN A 400 DEGREE OVEN. SIFT the cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl. In another bowl, mix together yolks, buttermilk and sour cream. Form a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the egg mixture and the diced peppers; stir without over mixing. Whip the egg whites to a stiff peak, and then fold them and the butter pieces in to the mixture. POUR the mixture into the skillet, and place the skillet in the preheated oven. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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  1. Darling Leslie,
    That cooking class really was very special! Thank you so much for including me in your narrative about this recipe. It's the best cornbread I've ever eaten. I'm so proud of you and The Chef In Your Head.

    Love you, Mom

  2. Oh wow, this cornbread sounds so delicious! Thanks for stopping by, giving me a chance to discover your blog. I'll be back too ;-)

  3. YUMMY!!! My hubby would LOVE to have some of this!! Looks like I need to get an iron skillet someday!


I'm so glad you stopped by and I can't wait to read your comments. I will stop by your blog shortly!