Cornbread is one my favorites to tinker with. I like to take it in different directions with different flavor combinations. This one includes spicy chorizo, fresh corn, and in the interest of keeping the fat calories somewhat reasonable, cottage cheese rather than a hard cheese. A square of it is heavenly split in half with a poached egg perched on top. —boulangere
Test Kitchen Notes
This is not a cake-like, prissy, Northern-style cornbread. It is a dense and delicious version more akin to Southern-style cornbread. The chorizo, onion, and corn contribute to create a hearty flavor and texture. The cottage cheese helps bind it all together, and makes it moist even the next day. It's perfect with a poached or fried egg and salad for a complete dinner, and if you have leftovers, it makes a great breakfast all by itself. —hardlikearmour
9" x 9" pan
1/2 pound bulk chorizo, browned, drained, cooled
1 yellow onion, 1/2" dice, sautéed in the chorizo fat, drained and cooled
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal or polenta
1 teaspoon salt
6 ounces buttermilk
8 ounces (1/2 pint) cottage cheese, 4% or 2%, but please not non-fat
2 large eggs
Corn kernels stripped from 2 cobs, or 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9" x 9" baking pan with a piece of parchment cut to fit. Pan spray the sides.
Warm a skillet over medium heat. When hot, break up the chorizo into small chunks and cook until gently browned, continuing to break it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. When done, use a slotted spoon to lift out onto a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside and sauté onion in the chorizo fat until it has softened, turned translucent, and has begun to brown some on the edges. Also use a slotted spoon to lift out onto the plate holding the sausage.
Place a sieve over a large mixing bowl. Measure into it the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Sift into the bowl. Use your fingers to press through any lumps. Add the polenta or corn meal last, as neither will pass easily through the sieve, and as such, aren't prone to clumping as the flour and leavening agents are.
Add the buttermilk, cottage cheese, eggs, corn kernels, cooled sausage and onions. Please don't use drained canned corn. It has a "cooked" taste that is not good when re-cooked. Stir to blend. Stir just until all dry ingredients are hydrated.
Use a rubber spatula to scrape the mixture into your prepared pan. Place pan in oven and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until top is golden brown, and is springy when you tap it. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve warm, of course.