my mom has told me, i don't know how many times, that she basically grew up on beans and cornbread. it was (at least as she put it) just what you ate, when you were southern and just scraping by.
and that pairing doesn't just exist in southern cuisine, of course – people all over the world eat some form of this dish, and it's pretty easy to see why. if you're working with a tight budget , some kind of beans and sweet, fluffy cornbread (or rice, or tortillas, or flatbread, or some other kind of grain) are really the perfect meal. it's cheap, yes, but just as important, it's also really nutritious and filling, and you can easily make this same basic combo feel new and fresh with different mixes of spices, herbs, and other veggies.
i highly recommend eating a freshly baked piece of this cornbread with my slow cooker turkey chili, but it'd be equally tasty with just about any other bean-based dish you can come up with.
nonstick cooking spray, for pan
12 fluid ounces buttermilk
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup frozen corn kernels
how to do it:
1. preheat oven to 375°f. spray a 9- x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray (or grease with additional butter, if preferred).
2. add eggs, buttermilk, butter, and sugar to a large bowl and whisk until all ingredients are combined and sugar is dissolved.
3. add the dry ingredients (baking soda through salt) to the wet and whisk until just combined. then gently fold in the corn kernels.
4. pour batter into the prepared baking pan, making sure batter is evenly distributed around the dish. bake at 375°f for about 25 minutes, or until sides and bottom of bread are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.