Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Low-carb Southern cornbread

Note that I didn't call this "'corn' bread" or "mock corn bread". There IS corn in here, but it's not the form in which you'd expect. Not cornmeal or corn kernels. The trick to adding corn flavor while keeping it low-carb? Baby corn.

Of course baby corn is still a grain, but it's more cob than corn, and most of its carbohydrates come in the form of fiber. I eat it by the same logic that folks who avoid legumes will still eat green beans because it's more pod than bean. While there are generally better vegetable choice, sustainably-produced corn isn't too bad from time to time (Chowstalker has a nice write-up about it here).


Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about this recipe. I married a guy from Tennessee to whom cornbread is dense, savory, and somewhat crumbly. This is NOT the makings of Jiffy corn muffins, it's not like the yellow-cake-disguised-as-cornbread that you get at Boston Market. This is my attempt to replicate real Southern-style cornbread.

It took me a few tries to get this right. Almond flour gives it the right crumb, but was too moist and light on its own. The addition of some coconut flour gave it the right amount of density, and you get some characteristic grittiness from the baby corn. I substituted hazelnut flour for some of the almond, because the papery skins were reminiscent of the germ you get in stone-ground cornmeal. I also added a bit of cider vinegar for a buttermilk-like tang.

LOW-CARB SOUTHERN CORNBREAD
Makes 15 pieces

INGREDIENTS
  • Half a drained ~15 oz can of baby corn (you can eyeball it)
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1.5 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 6 Tbs almond flour
  • 2 Tbs hazelnut flour (it's pretty expensive to buy a whole bag so I bought a small bag of chopped hazelnuts in the baking section and ground them myself in a blender)
  • 2 Tbs coconut flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp softened ghee, bacon fat, or butter
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Put the baby corn, egg, and vinegar in a food processor. Puree until smooth, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the almond flour, hazelnut flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt until thoroughly combined. Add the flour mixture to the food processor and pulse just enough to combine, scraping down the sides as needed.
  4. Grease a 9"x5" loaf pan with the teaspoon of fat. Scrape in the cornbread dough; it will be thick like cookie dough, not a pourable batter. Press down on the top to form an even layer. It is easiest to do this with a rubber spatula, or you can cover it with a piece of plastic wrap, press it out with your hands, then discard the plastic wrap.
  5. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

1 comments:

Shirley said...

Your recipe looks interesting and I would like to try it. It looks like you posted this recipe about 2 years ago. I was just wondering if you had experimented with the recipe any further since that time and made any other changes to improve it further, or if you are satisfied with the recipe as written? Also, was wondering if I could use a smaller loaf pan to make taller pieces of cornbread, and if so, how much longer do you think it would need to cook? TIA!

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