World Spice at Home
Amanda’s husband married her for this cornbread. Its coarse texture, moist interior, and spectacular crust combine so perfectly, you’ll fall in love with it too. You can vary the spices in the topping to suit any taste. Always preheat your skillet to ensure the best bottom crust.
Makes 8 servings
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt.
In a small sauce pan, melt 6 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and 4 tablespoons of the melted butter (make sure it has cooled slightly).
In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter, black pepper, cumin, and sea salt; set aside.
Put the remaining 1 teaspoon of butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and set it in the hot oven to preheat. Meanwhile, pour the egg mixture into the cornmeal mixture and stir gently to combine. Do not overmix or the bread will toughen. When the butter is sizzling, carefully remove the pan from the oven. Swirl the butter to coat the bottom and add the batter. Jiggle the pan to even out the batter. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
Drizzle the spiced butter evenly over the cornbread. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes more. The top of the cornbread should be lightly browned. If necessary, broil to finish the crust. The cornbread is best served right out of the oven, so cut into wedges and serve hot alongside Spicy Chili with Berbere (page 92) or with Brisket with Berbere and Whiskey Barbecue Sauce (page 165), or simply enjoy it as dessert with softened butter and a drizzle of honey.