Cornbread is as essential to life in the South as air and water. Always cooked in a hot cast iron skillet, it is wonderfully crisp on the outside and soft and moist inside. It is key ingredient in Thanksgiving dressing and is delicious smeared with butter or, as my father and I often did, crumbled into a cold glass of milk while the bread is still piping hot! (Seriously, try it sometime). Ask most Southerners the key to good cornbread and almost all will say Martha White “Hot Rize” Self-Rising Cornmeal Mix. It is simply the best, so look no further. A hot cast iron skillet is mandatory as well. The recipe below is no clever creation of mine…it is straight off the back of the Martha White Hot Rize package! Can’t improve on perfection!
Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Coat an 8-inch cast iron skillet with vegetable oil (about a tablespoon) and put the skillet in the oven for about 5-7 minutes until hot.
Meanwhile beat an egg in a medium bowl and stir in 1 ¾ cups buttermilk, ¼ cup vegetable oil and 2 cups Martha White Hot Rize cornmeal mix until smooth and creamy. Remove the skillet from the pan and pour in mixture. Smooth into an even layer. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown.