Each Thursday, Emily Vikre (a.k.a fiveandspice) will be sharing a new way to love breakfast -- because breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day. It's also the most awesome.
Today: Is it toast for breakfast? Cake for breakfast? Emily shares why cornbread is the perfect morning food.
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I’ve always felt like cornbread makes an even better breakfast than it does a dinner side. Something about the way it takes as well to an egg or a smudge of soft cheese -- as it does to honey or jam -- just says breakfast to me.
I know passions run high about what makes for legitimate cornbread, and I don’t claim to know what’s right. In fact, call me undiscerning, but I like cornbread in most every variation, if it’s breakfast time. Depending on your recipe, cornbread can be more savory or more sweet. It straddles the border between toast for breakfast and cake for breakfast, which is not at all a bad liminal space to be in. When I take it ever so slightly in the cake for breakfast direction, I also like to fold fruit into my cornbread. It makes me feel more justified when I want to eat two slices.
This was originally going to be a blueberry-studded cornbread, but then I found fresh figs. Fig season feels so fleeting, especially here where figs don’t grow and good fresh figs rarely make an appearance. I snatched them up and scattered them atop the cornbread to bake into figgy, jammy jewels. I thought they were perfect with the tender, nubbly crumb of the cornbread. Add a dollop of ricotta, and that’s a breakfast.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, barely softened and cut into chunks, plus more for greasing the pan 2/3 cup sugar 2 large eggs 1 cup coarse yellow cornmeal 1 1/2 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 1/2 cups milk or buttermilk 8 ounces fresh figs, stemmed and halved
I like to say I'm a lazy iron chef (I just cook with what I have around), renegade nutritionist, food policy wonk, and inveterate butter and cream enthusiast! My husband and I own a craft distillery in Northern Minnesota called Vikre Distillery (www.vikredistillery.com), where I claimed the title, "arbiter of taste." I also have a doctorate in food policy, for which I studied the changes in diet and health of new immigrants after they come to the United States. I myself am a Norwegian-American dual citizen. So I have a lot of Scandinavian pride, which especially shines through in my cooking on special holidays. Beyond loving all facets of food, I'm a Renaissance woman (translation: bad at focusing), dabbling in a variety of artistic and scientific endeavors.