Jessica Harris’s Herbed Cornbread
In her terrific book A Kwanzaa Keepsake, Jessica Harris points out that, like tomatoes and peppers, corn and cornmeal are New World additions to the traditional African diet. However, she says, they “have been so gleefully adopted that it is virtually impossible to think of the cooking of the African Atlantic world without them.” This excellent cornbread, adapted from hers, features an accent of thyme and uses canned or frozen corn.
“If God had meant for cornbread to have sugar in it, he’d have called it cake.”—MARK TWAIN
Total Timeunder 1 hour
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Courseside dish
Dietary Considerationside dish
Mealbreakfast, brunch, dinner
Taste and Texturebuttery, crisp, herby, hot & spicy, sweet
Type of Dishbread, corn bread, quickbreads
- Vegetable oil cooking spray
- ¾ cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
- ¼ cup unbleached flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crumbled between the fingertips
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon finely chopped pickled jalapeno peppers
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- ¼ cup corn kernels, cut from 1 ear of fresh corn; or frozen corn kernels, measured and defrosted; or canned, very well-drained
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan, preferably glass or glazed ceramic, with oil.
Combine the cornmeal, flour, and sugar in a large bowl, and sift in the baking powder and salt.
Whisk together the thyme, milk, jalapeños, egg, and melted butter in a smaller bowl. Stir into the dry ingredients gently so that the mixture is thoroughly moistened, but don’t overbeat it. Stir in the corn kernels, distributing them evenly throughout the batter.
Transfer the batter into the prepared pan, place it in the oven, and bake until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle, about 20 minutes. Serve hot.
2007, Crescent Dragonwagon