Many people refer to today as the most “American of American holidays”. Unlike Christmas, Thanksgiving has very few songs dedicated to the occasion, no gifts other than a table full of food and a limited number of decorations other than those you may line up on the tablecloth. Despite that fact, we all know that it is a day focused on food, friends and family. That, in itself, is enough to make it the most “American of American holidays”. Even though many of you have your recipes planned, and perhaps even prepped, there are a few folks who are probably scouring the net for last minute dishes. This is our ode to you! Feel free to click through if you are in fact that person. Or if you’re just someone who loves cornbread.
Side dishes are one of the best parts of Thanksgiving! You can give props to the turkey if you want, but the side dishes are where it’s at. They flank and complement the bird in the most perfect way. Cornbread is the Southern side dish we have always had on the table, and it is time to play around with the recipe. This cornbread is made from scratch and includes slow and sweet caramelized onions and bright green scallions, along with buttermilk and sour cream that work hand-in-hand to create a very tender, light crumb. You may also notice use of melted, cooled bacon grease. If you don’t have any on hand, vegetable oil will work just fine. Make sure to cut big hunks for everyone at the table. They will definitely be reaching over for seconds. This may just be one of those times when waiting until the last minute works in your favor.
- Floured baking spray
- 1½ cups yellow cornmeal
- 1½ cups flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly whisked
- 2½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ¼ cup bacon grease or vegetable oil, melted and cooled
- ⅔ cup caramelized onions*
- ½ cup sliced scallions
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a 9” x 13” x 3” baking dish with parchment paper, then spray with floured baking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, eggs, buttermilk, butter and bacon grease. Stir in the onions and scallions.
- Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined, making sure not to over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Cover with foil if the top browns quickly. Cool slightly in the pan before slicing.
- *For the caramelized onions, half and thinly slice two large brown onions. In a large sauce pan, cook the onions with 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium low heat for approximately 90 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Keep covered with a lid during cooking, and stir every 15-20 minutes to check color and texture. Feel free to reduce the heat to low, although that may extend the cooking time by another 15-20 minutes.
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