Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Cast Iron Cooking: Tomato Cornbread

Reading recipes has always inspired me, and even those I'm annoyed by can contain the seeds of a good dish. Contributor Jim Dixon of Real Good Food shares one of those that he used despite quibbles with its moniker.

Tomato Cornbread

A recipe in the Washington Post inspired me, but the name, "Savory Tomato Cornbread Cobbler," is both too long and misleading. "Savory" is just superfluous food porn, and cobbler, while not really precisely defined, really requires the batter portion on top. It's not exactly a pie, but nether is the tamale version. Whatever you call it, it tastes good.

Put a nine-inch or so cast iron skillet (or similar baking dish) in a 350° oven. Cut three or four tomatoes into bite-sized pieces, add a bit of chopped garlic or shallot, some chopped herbs (basil, mint and parsley for me; if you don't have any growing in your yard, just use basil), a splash of one of the the Katz vinegars and the same for oil. I used about 2-3 cups of this tomato mix.

The cornbread is a simple hot water version made with extra virgin olive oil instead of butter or lard. The real star is the cornmeal: I used Ayers Creek Amish Butter, but the purple Peace, No War would also work (I've got both in stock). Mix a cup of cornmeal with a teaspoon of sea salt and 2 tsp. of baking powder. Add a cup of boiling water and one of extra virgin olive oil, mix well. It'll be a little oily, but that's okay.

Pull the hot skillet from the oven, pour in the cornmeal batter, and spread out into a smooth layer. Spoon the tomato mix on top, distributing evenly. Bake for about 45 minutes, and let cool. I like it best at room temperature.

Check out more of Jim Dixon's recipes on Good Stuff NW!


meddie said...

I'm about to make this, with an overflow of tomatoes from the garden and some good Maine cornmeal (though I'd love the Ayers Creek too). But my cornbread recipe, which came years ago from John Thorne, requires a much hotter oven temp--450, if I'm no6 mistaken.. Would that be too hot for the tomato topping? About to try.

Kathleen Bauer said...

My tendency is to follow a recipe the first time through, Meddie, but hopefully yours will turn out fine at the higher temp. I'm assuming the cooking time will be less? Let me know how it turns out!