Cornbread with Flair

slices of fresh cornbread with blueberry on cutting board

Cornbread is one of those side dishes that can easily compliment any meal. However, this make ahead recipe is not your usual plain cornbread recipe. It uses whole corn and herbs to give it certain flair. What is so great about this recipe is that it makes two square pans filled with a delicious corn bread in about 30 minutes. Use one pan tonight for dinner and freeze the second pan to use for a later time. This make ahead recipe can also be used as the cornbread in your stuffing for the holidays.

Double recipe ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups cornmeal
2 Tbsp sugar - more sugar may be added if sweeter bread is desired
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 ½ cups cold buttermilk
4 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp chives
3 Tbsp thyme
1 cup corn  (if using frozen corn, thaw prior to use)

Step one
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare the two 8 X8 pans with cooking spray.

Step two
In a large bowl combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda, salt and pepper.

Step three
In another bowl combine the buttermilk, vegetable oil, and eggs.

Step four
Once the wet ingredients are combined, add the mixture to the dry ingredients. Stir until the batter is moist. The batter will still be lumpy.

Step five
Fold the corn and the herbs into the batter.

Step six
Divide the batter equally between the two square pans. Use a spatula to spread the batter out evenly in the pan.

Step 7
Bake the cornbread for 25 to 30 minutes. The top of the bread will be light brown in color and it will begin to pull away from the side of the pans. Use a toothpick to check the center of the bread if you are unsure that it is baked completely through. Overbaking will make for a drier cornbread.

Step 8
Allow to cool and serve or freeze to use at a later time. Cornbread will last about 6 weeks in the freezer.

This is an easy make ahead recipe that can easily be frozen to use for a future dinner. The herbs and the corn give it a certain flair that most corn breads do not have. It would be easy to change the herbs, add sharp cheddar cheese or even substitute chopped broccoli or shredded carrots for a different variation. Add blueberries and more sugar for a sweeter treat.


Thanksgiving Stuffing, A Day Early

13-11-25 Stuffing 533x533

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipes

The trick to mastering the Thanksgiving meal is finding time saver recipes that can be prepared at least one day in advance. To help you do this, here are two make ahead stuffing recipes that can be prepared days ahead of time. Anything you can prepare ahead will lessen the stress on the holiday.

Traditional Stuffing

16 cups cubed white bread, dried out in advance
1/2 cup butter
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
1 Tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1/2 ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
2 cups low sodium chicken broth

Cut a loaf of crusty white bread into 1-inch cubes. Let sit for at least 24 hours to dry. You may also place the pan of bread cubes into a warm oven for 30 minutes to speed up the process.

After the bread cubes are completely dried, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and celery. Cook until tender, stirring frequently.

Add salt, poultry seasoning, pepper, thyme, and sage. Stir in chicken broth.

Place bread cubes in a large mixing bowl. Ladle the chicken broth mixture over the bread cubes, tossing lightly as you go.

Spoon stuffing into a greased casserole dish. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

This make ahead stuffing can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. After spooning it into the casserole dish, simply cover, and place into the refrigerator. On Thanksgiving day, remove it from the fridge while the oven is preheating, and then bake as directed.

Cornbread Stuffing

4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/4 cups chopped celery
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
6 cups cubed cornbread, dried out in advance (or 16 ounce package cornbread stuffing mix)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped Granny Smith apples

Melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and celery. Cook until tender, stirring frequently. Add white wine and cook until liquid is almost completely evaporated. Add broth, and cook until heated.

In a large mixing bowl, pour chicken broth mixture over cornbread. Add cranberries and apples. Gently toss.

Transfer stuffing to a 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

This cornbread stuffing can be a real time saver when covered and kept in the refrigerator up to one day in advance. Remove from fridge while oven is preheating, and then bake on Thanksgiving day.