The recipe for this unbelievably good cornbread was originally found in Southern Living Magazine, but I came to know of it through my friends over at Leite's Culinaria. The first time I made this it was to accompany Michael Symon's Black-Eyed Pea – Pork Shoulder Chili, and I loved it so much that I made it again recently as a side to a double batch of Sweet Potato and Turkey Chili that I cooked up to deliver to a local church to feed about 20 homeless men who were taking shelter there for the night.
When a friend asked if I'd be willing to help feed the men I knew I wanted to cook something that was warm and hearty, but also healthy. The turkey chili is super healthy as it's basically a vegetable dish enriched with beans and some lean, ground turkey, and this cornbread gets an extra dose of nutrients from the two cups of mashed sweet potatoes in the mix.
Unlike store bought cornbread that can be dry and overly sweet, this cornbread is dense and moist with just a hint of sweetness. With only 3 tablespoons of sugar called for, most of the sweetness comes naturally from the potatoes and is yet another reason why this is a pretty healthy cornbread. It paired beautifully with both chilis and was such a hit the other night at the church that a few of the guys came back for 3rds, slathering their warm pie shaped slices with butter.
I can't tell you how good it made me feel to provide them all with such a tasty, healthy meal. It was better than any present under my tree this year.
Cheers – Steve
- 2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix (or substitute 1 1/2 cups plus 6 tablespoons cornmeal, 2 tablespoons baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (optional - I did not use this)
- 5 large eggs
- 2 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds) cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
- 8 ounces sour cream
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the skillet
- Heat the oven to 425℉. Heat a 10 inch cast-iron skillet in the oven for 10 minutes (any non-stick oven proof skillet should work if you don't have cast iron)
- Meanwhile stir together the cornmeal mix, sugar, and pumpkin pie spice (if using), in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, mashed sweet potatoes, sour cream, and butter. Add the sweet potato mix to the cornmeal mixture, stirring just until moistened. Carefully butter the hot skillet and spoon the batter into it.
- Bake for 20 - 35 minutes (mine was done at 25 minutes), or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Slice the cornbread into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature.