Southern Living Hot-Water Cornbread

Southern Living Hot-Water Cornbread

One of the top rated Southern Living magazine recipes of 2001.

2 cups white cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 to 2 cups boiling water
Vegetable oil
Softened butter

COMBINE first 4 ingredients in a bowl; stir in half-and-half and 1 tablespoon oil. Gradually add boiling water, stirring until batter is the consistency of grits.

POUR oil to a depth of 1/2 inch into a large heavy skillet; place over medium-high heat. Scoop batter into a 1/4-cup measure; drop into hot oil, and fry, in batches, 3 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels. Serve with softened butter. Yield: 1 dozen.

Prep: 5 min., Cook: 18 min.

Note: The amount of boiling water needed varies depending on the type of cornmeal used. Stone-ground (coarsely ground) cornmeal requires more liquid.

Country Ham Hot-Water Cornbread: After adding boiling water, stir in 1 to 2 cups finely chopped cooked country ham.

Bacon-Cheddar Hot-Water Cornbread: After adding boiling water, stir in 8 slices cooked and crumbled bacon, 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, and 4 minced green onions.

Southwestern Hot-Water Cornbread: After adding boiling water, stir in 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced; 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend; 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed; and 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro.

Baked Hot-Water Cornbread: Omit skillet procedure. Pour 1/3 cup vegetable oil into a 15- x 10-inch jellyroll pan, spreading to edges. Drop batter as directed onto pan. Bake at 475° for 12 to 15 minutes. Turn and bake 5 more minutes or until golden brown.

Source: Southern Living Magazine, 2001