I received my friend, Jackie's cookbook, Sweet Potato Love: 60 Recipes for Every Season in the mail as a complete surprise. Oh she told me she wanted to send me something, but I had no idea what it was until it arrived. Such a sweet gesture, and it was even autographed!
Jackie is the popular blogger behind Jackie Garvin's Syrup and Biscuits. I had the pleasure to review her first cookbook last year, "Biscuits -Sweet and Savory Recipes for the All-American Kitchen" which is where I finally learned how to make light, fluffy biscuits ... no joke, only took me about 30 years to learn how to do it right because I'm a northern gal and I never watched anyone bake biscuits until I was well into my adulthood.
Naturally I was super-excited to make a recipe from her new cookbook and couldn't wait to get cooking. I chose her Sweet Potato Cornbread because it has cheese and BACON in it, and she talks about using it as a dressing with some Cornish Hens in another recipe. Seemed like a winner to me, so off I set to make it. Oh my goodness, and I ever glad I did ... it is amazing!!
1 sweet potato, baked and mashed
4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups buttermilk (make your own by adding 1 tbls. lemon juice to 2 cups milk)
2 cups cornmeal2 cups self-rising flour (make your own by adding 3 tsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt to all-purpose flour
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sugar (added to heighten the sweetness of the sweet potato and offset the savory of the cheese and bacon)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large cast iron fry pan, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and reserve drippings; set aside.
In a large bowl, place baked, mashed sweet potato; add eggs and buttermilk and stir until combined. In a separate bowl, add self-rising flour, cooked and crumbled bacon, sugar, shredded cheddar cheese and corn meal stirring well to combine.
Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well. If batter is too stiff and just a touch more buttermilk.
Pour reserved bacon drippings into a hot 9-inch cast iron skillet or baking dish. Spoon batter in and bake 45 minutes or until top is browned and cornbread is cooked through.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Cut into pieces and serve with lots of fresh creamery butter.
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