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Home Cooking

CORNBREAD & SPOONBREAD– Home Cooking Dish of the Month, September 2017

masha | Sep 1, 201709:44 AM     203

Welcome to the reporting thread for our September 2017 Dish of the Month. This month we will be baking Cornbreads & Spoonbreads (including baked hoecakes).

Our chosen DOTM was the dark horse candidate during much of the Voting Round (linked here, https://www.chowhound.com/post/home-c...), at one point lagging Biryani by more than 10 votes. But, in the final hours of voting yesterday, it closed the gap, with both dishes finishing with 16 votes. I broke the tie in favor of Cornbread & Spoon Bread because of the opportunity to use a seasonal ingredient widely available during September (at least for Hounds in North America). For all of the Biryanis fans, don’t despair. Also-ran dishes have a great track record of winning in a later month’s voting.

The exact definition of this month’s Dish was the subject of considerable debate during our nomination process. We grappled with where to draw the line among various baked goods made from corn-meal batters, given that spoonbreads have a pudding or soufflé-like texture, whereas cornbreads (and hoe cakes) are more obviously in the “bread” family. Ultimately, we decided that, despite the differences in consistency, we would treat cornbreads and spoonbreads as a single “dish” for DOTMs purposes, as well as baked hoecakes – because they too are a baked good made from a corn-based batter, but not fried corn batter preparations (which were within the scope of the Savory Pancake DOTM that we covered in November 2012). For the full discussion of this debate, as well as what other dishes were considered at the nominations stage, see the nominations thread, https://www.chowhound.com/post/nomina....

With a hat-tip to meatn3, who linked these blog posts during our nominations round, I commend these pieces by Virginia Wills (http://blog.virginiawillis.com/2017/0...) and Kay Fahey (http://www.finecooking.com/article/do...) for informative discussions (plus recipes) of the distinctly Native American and colonial American origins of corn-based baked goods in general, including cornbreads, spoonbreads, and hoe cakes – as well as how these preparations changed over time as baking technology evolved during the 18th and 19th century.

To get us all started, in addition to the recipes contained in the Virginia Wills and Kay Fahey pieces linked above, you may want to take a look at these links for:

Cornbread: http://www.epicurious.com/search/corn..., http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/11/no..., https://cooking.nytimes.com/search?q=..., http://www.foodnetwork.com/search/cor...

Spoonbread: http://www.epicurious.com/search?term..., http://www.seriouseats.com/search?ter..., https://cooking.nytimes.com/search?q=..., http://www.foodnetwork.com/search/spo...

So, let’s start mixing corn batters, and preparing Cornbreads and Spoonbreads. Pictures of your results and links or descriptions of the recipes are encouraged. But, please respect the copyright of the recipe’s author by either: (a) including a link directly to the source of the recipe, or (b) if no link is available, use your own words to paraphrase and explain the instructions for making the dish (although you may directly quote any list and quantities of ingredients).

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