Skillet Cornbread with Leeks.

My littlest guy Waylon hasn’t met an ear of corn he wouldn’t tackle and his little hands holding each side while he’s chowing down is pretty much the cutest thing you’ve ever seen.

I love corn so many different ways and especially love white Silver Queen corn, grabbing it right off the back of a pickup truck and rolled up inside a big paper bag to bring home and enjoy. Today I’m sharing a little something I made up myself, a recipe for Skillet Cornbread filled with fresh green leeks and kernels of corn right off the cob. 

And, I hope I’m introducing you to one of my favorite Southern makers, Smithey Ironware out of Charleston, SC. I have quite the collection of cast iron these days, new and vintage pans and this one they shared with me has quickly become one of my favorites in the kitchen. And the little quail logo makes the pan such an iconic heirloom-in-the-making.

Cooking your cornbread in cast iron gives it a beautiful crispness to the crust that I just love. It also seals in the moisture inside the loaf, providing the perfect balance and texture especially, when smothered with a little pat of butter on top.

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Skillet Cornbread with Leeks

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal

1 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1¼ teaspoons kosher salt

1 3/4 cups buttermilk

1 egg

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces

1 bundle of fresh chives, chopped

2 green leeks, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk and egg. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients and stir the batter together until completely combined.

Put butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet and place in oven for 3 to 5 minutes to melt butter. Remove the skillet from the oven, swirl the butter around to coat the bottom and sides, then pour the batter into the pan. Smooth the top and bake about 20 to 25 minutes. Serve warm.

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cutting fresh leeks for cornbread / heirloomed
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Isaac at Smithey Ironware sent over this skillet to try, so I was inspired to do a little cast iron cooking. These days, I've been putting leeks in everything I can - tossing them on the grill, putting them in risotto, and anywhere else I can think to, so I thought it was a natural fit for a hearty cornbread. Not to mention, my herb garden has a bunch of chives and its great to have them on hand to throw into recipes. 

cast iron skillet cornbread recipe / heirloomed
slice of skillet cornbread / heirloomed
herbed butter on skillet cornbread / HEIRLOOMED
fresh skillet cornbread with herbed butter recipe / heirloomed
cast iron skillet cornbread with herbed butter / heirloomed recipe

I love this dish because its hearty and a perfect side dish as the weather gets cooler, and pairs nicely with chili. You can also try a hot slice of this cornbread topped with some Herbed Butter or Honey Butter for even more added flavor. Love to know what meal you pair your cornbread with? #HEIRLOOMED

Pan from : Smithey Ironware

Cornmeal : Alabama King

 

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cast iron skillet corn bread recipe / heirloomed

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French Sage Dressing Recipe for Thanksgiving.

When it comes to the most basic Thanksgiving feast, many people have the same staples upon their table - green bean casserole with those little crispy onions, sweet potato casserole loaded with mini marshmallows, cranberry sauce still molded with those little rings straight from the can. But there are few things with quite as much variation as stuffing (a.k.a dressing) and that is generally the dish that "makes" it Thanksgiving, at least in my mind.

French sage dressing for Thanksgiving recipe / heirloomed
cubing bread for Thanksgiving dressing / heirloomed
my kitchen helper / dog in the kitchen / heirloomed
Preparing Thanksgiving stuffing

Straight from the box stuffing, apple + cornbread stuffing for a sweet touch, oyster dressing, and the list continues. In my house, we always had the same delicious dressing and it is a coveted recipe that has been passed down from my Grandmother's side of the family for generations and generations. It is a meat based stuffing, traditionally made with equal parts beef and pork, though these days I must admit I make mine with ground turkey and either chicken or turkey sausage but I truly don't think it makes much of a difference.

cubed bread with measuring cups / Thanksgiving Stuffing prep / heirloomed

The hero in this stuffing is the fresh sage, which I know grow in two large galvanized tubes in our garden, and the highlights of dry, rubbed sage. You almost think it's a typo when you're making this for the first time and you see just how much sage goes into the recipe. But don't skimp on it, it's what makes this a standout dish. And of course the crusty cubes of day-old bread make this a truly juicy and delicious side dish.  One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is to have our Stuffing Sandwiches the next day for lunch, with purely white sliced bread, a mound of stuffing and a little dab of cranberry sauce or gravy on top to keep it interesting.

This is the one dish that I can't do Thanksgiving without. To me, it makes the holiday so even if I'm dining out with family or my in-laws each year, I always tend to make a side dish of my Grandmother's French Sage Dressing to bring along for the hostess (and me) to enjoy with our meal. I hope you will give it a try and that you enjoy it as much as I do!

fresh sage and onion for Thanksgiving stuffing prep / heirloomed

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French Sage Dressing

The day before : Open a loaf of crusty french bread. Lay out slices on a breadboard to dry overnight. Cube bread in 1/2" cubes when dry and set aside.

  • 2 parts ground beef
  • 1 part ground pork
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 3/4 loaf of dried French bread cubes (see above)
  • Salt + pepper
  • Fresh sage leaves (several bundles)
  • 1/2 bottle of ground rubbed sage

In a heavy cast iron pan brown meats and onion. Stir until cooked through and no pink remains. Drain excess fat. Add dried bread cubes, stirring to absorb liquid. Slowly add enough water to get mixture to a moist consistency, but not soupy. Season freely with salt and pepper. Add sage to taste. It will take several bunches of fresh sage, as well as about half a bottle of ground rubbed sage to get the rich taste.

Loosely stuff bird cavities or spoon into casserole dish. Cover and bakealong with bird. Uncover the last 10-15 minutes to get a bit of crust.

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classic french sage dressing for your thanksgiving turkey / heirloomed

I would absolutely love to know what kind of dressing you love for your Thanksgiving feast. #HEIRLOOMED

Sasha Nicholas handwritten recipe oval platter

We teamed up with our good Instagram friends at Sasha Nicholas to celebrate the true meaning of the Thankgiving holiday - the traditions, the made-from-scratch recipes, and the heirloom pieces from each of our collections that you are sure to bring out year after year.

Cynthia was generous enough to gift me this amazing Monogrammed Oval Platter that features my mother's handwritten recipe for this French Sage Dressing, straight from the recipe card. It features our last name monogram on the front of the platter and I truly can't imagine anything more wonderful and special to have as a part of our Thanksgiving table each year while serving this dish to our guests around the table. You truly must take a peek over on their site and soak up all the beauty and all of the thoughtful ideas they have for using their dinnerware pieces.

Pictured above is a stack of my Grandmother's recipe cards, and a photo of my Great Grandmother, her mother, who also made this dressing so many years ago. The fact that this recipe has been passed down so many generations is truly special for me, and makes the importance of serving it to my own children even greater.

handwritten recipe printed on oval platter from Sasha Nicholas