Mark Steuer, the executive chef at Chicago's Lowcountry-inspired Carriage House, is a Southern boy at heart--but when a cornbread craving strikes, he swings for the Yankees. A healthy dose of honey and sugar gives the cornbread enough sweetness that some might mistake it for cake. Steuer smartly keeps the skillet bread balanced with tang, namely from buttermilk and sour cream. While at the restaurant Steuer pairs small skillets-for-two with seasonal preserves like blood-orange marmalade with smoked foie gras butter, we enjoyed it with a smear of butter, a drizzle of honey and a sprinkle of flaky salt.
Recipe adapted from Mark Steuer, Carriage House, Chicago
Yield: 16 servings
Cook Time: 25 minutes
3 large eggs
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup honey
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1½ tablespoons kosher salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
1½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons for the skillet
1. Set a 12-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven and preheat the oven to 375°. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until frothy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the buttermilk, sour cream and honey.
2. In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cayenne. Use a wooden spoon to stir the flour-cornmeal mixture into the sour cream-buttermilk mixture. Stir in the melted butter and mix until well combined.
3. Remove the hot cast-iron skillet from the oven and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, swirling the pan to evenly disperse the butter. Pour in the batter, using the back of the spoon to spread it into an even layer. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before slicing and serving.
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