I am always interested in the food blogs of other writers and I was excited to discover alittlesaffron.com. Ileana Morales is a Times correspondent and approaches food the way I do. Food for her is a joy, an experiment, and an opportunity to play with her camera.I used to take a lot of artsy black and white photos until I began to raise a family. She has inspired me to wipe the dust off some of the lovely cameras gathering dust in the closet.
I prepared this recipe for the most recent Culture and Cuisine Club dinner. Our host wanted to make a Texas style barbeque and it was a huge success. The following recipe was in the paper and I saved it for the occasion. You can’t cook a southern barbeque without some sort of corn bread.
I had to travel with this dish so I broke it up into two parts. I sautéed the onions and apples at my home and let them cool in the cast iron skillet. In my case, the time to cook the onions and apples was longer than specified. I would allot about ten minutes for the onions first. By the way, I sliced everything on a mandoline slicer. If you don’t have one you should add it to your gadgets. You may not use it frequently, but it is the best way to get even slices. It is also extremely fast. You can check out a good one here
In another bowl I combined all the dry ingredients. I brought the buttermilk, eggs, and the unmelted butter with me. (I only melted the butter in the skillet that I would need to sauté the onions and apples.) I put the recipe together at my friend’s house.
The result was one of the best corn bread recipes I have ever eaten. The combination of the flour and two different types of ground cornmeal gave the bread a lighter texture without depriving it of that wonderful corn flavor. I decided to take Ileana’s advice and have a piece with breakfast the next morning. As you can see, it added just the right touch to a decadent Sunday morning breakfast.
The hostess, after going back for another piece, decided that it would be completely decadent to drizzle the bread with some sort of light caramel sauce. I think she may have hit on something…
¾ cup plus 3 tablespoons (14 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 medium white onion, thinly sliced
2 large apples (Gala, Pink Lady or any red-skinned apple should work), thinly sliced
5 tablespoons sugar, divided use
3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided use
1 ½ cups cornmeal (half finely ground, half coarsely ground)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
2 large eggs
1 ½ cups buttermilk
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter over medium heat in a large cast iron skillet. Pour all but 2 tablespoons melted butter into a small bowl.
Place the skillet back on the burner and add onions. Cook and stir occasionally until onions are softened, about 4 minutes. Add apples, 2 tablespoons sugar and 2 teaspoons thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, until apples are softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to a medium bowl.
Whisk cornmeal, flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in eggs, buttermilk, and reserved melted butter until smooth and no lumps remain. Fold in half the onion mixture and pour batter into the skillet. Top with the rest of the onion mixture and the remaining 1 teaspoon thyme.
Bake until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 50 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
Original Source: Bon Appétit