Saturday, December 8, 2012

Corn Pan Bread

Bar Americain Inspiration, Installation #3, Corn Pan Bread

A while back we dined at Bar Americain in New York and it was exactly what I wanted in a restaurant. Great atmosphere. Brilliant menu. And an inspiring experience that makes me want to replicate it at home. Surprisingly, the inspiration was more about the side dishes, vs. the mains. Not that the mains (a rack of pork big enough to feed a small village and a hangar steak) were not good, but they didn't measure up (let alone exceed) expectations. The sides though, went well beyond expectations and demonstrated why Chef Bobby Flay is the Chef that he is.

At Bar Americain this is served with the bread basked and is actually baked in corn cob shaped cast iron sticks.  I don't have those (on the wish list) so I've adapted for a cast iron pan in the oven.  I've also substituted for buttermilk and added some jalapeno for kick, but this can be omitted if you are not into that. 

Corn Pan Bread
Inspired by Bar Americain

1 large shallot, small dice
1 jalapeno, small dice
1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil

1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tsp vinegar

Heat oven to 400F. 

Heat the olive oil and butter in a small frying pan.  Add shallot and saute until browned. Remove from heat and reserve.

In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients.  In a cup melt the butter.  Add the milk and vinegar (this is to mimic buttermilk).  Add to the dry ingredients along with the reserved shallots and jalapeno and mix through.

Rub a 9" cast iron pan wiht olive oil and place in oven for 10 minutes.  Add batter and spread evenly.  Return to oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes until browned. 

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