Buckwheat flour imbues this corn bread with nutty undertones, and its brown specks lend visual appeal. Make an effort to use the turkey fat called for in this recipe (you get plenty of it when you save the pan drippings from roasting a turkey); it adds an extra dimension of richness that sets this corn bread apart from others. Bacon fat adds a smoky quality.
Pouring the batter into a hot skillet before baking ensures that you will have crunchy edges: the best part of a warm piece of corn bread.
Make Ahead: The corn bread can be made a day ahead and warmed in the oven, but it is at its best served fresh from the oven.
- 1 1/2 cups stone-ground yellow cornmeal
- 1/2 cup stone-ground buckwheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
- 1 small jalapeño or serrano pepper, stemmed, seeded then finely chopped (2 tablespoons)
- 1 cup fresh sweet corn kernels (from 2 large ears; may use defrosted frozen corn)
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons rendered turkey fat (may substitute chicken or duck fat or unsalted butter)
- 2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat (may substitute turkey, chicken or duck fat or unsalted butter)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Stir together the cornmeal, buckwheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, onion, jalapeno and corn in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.
Combine the eggs and buttermilk in a medium mixing bowl. Melt a tablespoon each of turkey fat and bacon fat together and stir into the milk mixture.
Heat the remaining tablespoons of turkey fat and bacon fat in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat until the oil just begins to smoke.
While the pan is heating, add the buttermilk mixture to the cornmeal mixture, stirring just until combined. Pour into the hot skillet; a crust should form immediately. Cook for a minute on the stove top, then transfer to the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the corn bread to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
From The Process columnist David Hagedorn.
Tested by David Hagedorn.
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