I don’t enjoy eating hot, hearty meals in the summer. It makes me feel icky. And yet I’ve been eating them like crazy. Enchiladas, chicken noodles, meatloaf and creamed corn, chicken and rice, pot roast. Today? Pinto beans and cornbread. All foods I associate with cold winter months, and that have no business being in my belly this time of year.
OK, so I have some excuses. The enchiladas? I had all the ingredients without even planning for it. The chicken noodles, meatloaf, chicken and rice, and pot roast I made all in a single day with Teri because she was teaching me to cook more homestyle-type foods. So that’s a pretty good excuse. And today, with the winter beans and cornbread? Four words.
AMISH FRIENDSHIP BREAD STARTER.
(Click here if you want to make your own starter. But you might want to read the rest of this blog first. As a warning.)
It’s taking over my life. Sparking creative neurons in my brain and making me want to bake things with it that I’d rather not eat this time of year. But I just couldn’t resist the idea of turning this round of starter into cornbread, despite having no desire to actually eat it. (Until I baked it of course, and then I couldn’t stop eating it!) I was inspired by the Miller-family’s creamed corn to incorporate the same ingredients into this recipe, which made the most moist cornbread I’ve ever had. It almost melts in your mouth!
Debbie left a comment yesterday on the creamed corn recipe that made me LOL: “Oh sure, stick a brick of cream cheese and a whole stick of butter on it and you could make your shoes taste awesome!!” Can’t argue with that, or with what the magic of excessive cream cheese and butter do to this cornbread. There is not a dry crumb to be found on this bread. It is so moist, it’s almost a cross between cornbread and corn pudding. The starter has enough sugar to give it a very nice, sweet, Northern-cornbread feel, and I love the sharp and salty edge the cheddar on top imparts.
If you decide to make this during the winter months, particularly for a holiday gathering, I’m going to tell you right now to go ahead and shred the whole block of cheese and add the other half to the batter. But if you’re making it right now…well, I hope you’ve at least packed away your swimsuit for good until next summer. Just sayin’.
Amish Friendship Creamed Cornbread
Remaining starter after you’ve divied up three bags for friends
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups cornmeal (I used stone ground)
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoons salt
1 can corn, drained
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 dish with cooking oil and set aside.
Add the cream cheese and butter to the starter in a large bowl and beat until fairly smooth. Beat in eggs until combined. Stir in cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt just until combined. Stir in corn and mix until well combined. Spread into prepared dish and bake for 30 minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle cheese on top and allow to cool for ten to fifteen minutes before serving. Cheese will melt while the cornbread cools.