I forgot to add that my cornbread is never dry. I believe it's because of the buttermilk and the coarse ground cornmeal. I like it way better than my grandmother's version.
My cornbread recipe and a brief history.
At the turn from the 19th to the 20th century, my grandmother was born on a farm in a southern state while it was still a territory. Many years later, my sister and her two brothers, were all born over a time spanning the early to late fifties.
Our grandmother occasionally served a somewhat dry cornbread that contained no sugar other than that naturally occurring in the corn. It was one of my favorite things in life to eat it hot, right out of the oven with as much extra butter as I could sneak without my parents or grandmother noticing.
Years later, in the late eighty's, a friend took out his cast iron skillet from the cupboard and cooked up a package of (I think it was unsweetened) Jiffy cornbread mix which was a reasonable facsimile of that which my grandmother once prepared.
This started a chain of events that eventually led to me entering a 4th of July Jalapeno Cornbread cook-off, two years in a row.
The first year my Jalapeno Cornbread got honorable mention. The first and second place prizes went to dishes that both contained meat in their recipe. I figure they should have been disqualified for being casseroles.
As for the second year: Though I am extremely honored to have been awarded the second place ribbon, I have every confidence that I very likely should have won first place. Don't we all think that? Allas, the first place prize was given to the chef which was employed by the Hotel on who's property the event was held, OK, maybe the contest wasn't rigged. There is no question though, that the judges (and possibly the chef) really enjoyed my Jalapeno Cornbread. (Grin) I've recently been told by my estranged wife that she'd pay me to make her a batch. (Grin again)
Though I have a couple secret ingredients (neither sugar nor any other kind of flour are a part of it) My basic recipe is from the package of the "Morrison's Premium Stone Ground Corn Meal" from Morrison Mills (in Denton, Texas I think). I haven't purchased their brand for awhile so I don't know if it's still available but I bought it through HEB grocers here in the DFW area.
Here's the basic recipe with my spin on it:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F (and place a #7 or #8 cast iron skillet or 2 cast iron muffin pans in the oven to preheat as well) Do NOT grease them at this time.
2. Mix together eggs, buttermilk and oil in medium size mixing bowl. Don't over-mix.
3. in a separate (larger) bowl, combine dry ingredients, Include any other ingredients such as jalapenos or corn, etc. Quantities to your taste and feel free to experiment with other ingredients from the garden. That's half the fun of creating a great dish!
4. Then pour the liquid mixture over the dry mixture and mix with a LARGE wire whisk. But again, do not over-mix. Do be sure all dry ingredients are scraped off the bottom and sides.
5. Remove preheated cast iron skillet or cast iron muffin pans from oven and quickly spray a liberal amount of cooking spray in to the pan(s) then pour in the batter. Be sure not to overfill the muffin cups (about 1/8 to 1/4 below the top. They should rise.
6. Bake at 425°F for 30 to 35 minutes or until done.
Should be enjoyed with good creamery butter and nothing else (IMOHO). I predict that nothing will be left after 30 minutes but if there ARE leftovers I cover it with a thin dishcloth to be enjoyed the next day. Can also be frozen but why would you want to? Just eat it!