Gluten-free cornbread

Bill’s been smoking amazing things lately with his Christmas Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker, and the coals always last longer than what he needs for the ribs or whatever the viande du jour is. So in addition to roasting a couple of marshmallows, we’ve been throwing on a chicken or two to finish up the “burn” (cue Breaking Bad smoke). Then we have smoked meat to play with for the rest of the week.

Smoked chicken green enchiladas were excellent, smoked chicken salad was wonderful, cold smoked chicken with mujedrah and lentil and chickpea salad was terrific. Tonight I did a big pot of smoked chicken and white bean chili. I started the chicken stock last night and let it simmer until this morning, while a few pounds of dry navy beans were soaking, then I put them together and let them converse the entire day (aided by some onions, a few serrano chilis, lots of spices and, of course, the chicken). 

I realized that this concoction really needed some accompaniments. I had a few limes, a lovely ripe avocado, sour cream, a green onion to slice up, and some white cheddar I could shred. But there was still something missing… aha! Cornbread!

Fortunately, cornbread is one of those things like muffins and biscuits that are pretty easy to convert to gluten-free… you basically use your favorite all-purpose gluten-free flour mix in place of the wheat flour, and don’t forget to toss in a bit of xanthan gum. I’m still working through the incredibly generous gift of several boxes of King Arthur GF multi-purpose flour that my mother-in-law gave us at Christmas (lots of food-related gifts in our family!), so that’s what I’m using in this, but the Bob’s Red Mill or any other mix you’ve had good luck with would work well too.

GF Cornbread

  • 1 1/4 c. cornmeal (any grind, but I prefer the finer to the coarser)
  • 3/4 c. gluten-free all-purpose flour blend
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (if your blend doesn’t already include it; the KAF doesn’t)
  • 1/4 c. (scant) sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt (I used kosher)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 T. white vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick, or 8 T.) butter, softened (I popped a cold stick into the microwave for 30 seconds)

Heat your oven to 425F and place your 9″ cast-iron skillet in to warm up.

Whisk together all the dry ingredients. Whisk eggs together with milk, and add to dries, stirring gently. Add 6T of the melty butter and mix again. Carefully pull the pan out of the hot oven and swirl the remaining 2T of butter in it… don’t let it get too brown, just let it melt and bubble, then use a spatula to quickly scrape in the batter and return the skillet to the oven. Lower the oven temperature to 375F, and bake for 20 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean). 

Serve with butter and honey. 

Variations might include throwing in a handful of fresh or frozen corn, a chopped jalapeno pepper, some bacon bits… use your imagination!

Enjoy!

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