Peace, Justice + Cornbread at The Greenbrier

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The New Yorker in me wanted to giggle – I didn’t expect to see the big blue ribbon on the sleek, black Staub casserole – but the foodie in me couldn’t wait to lift the lid.  Inside was some of the best cornbread I’d had in a long time.  But clearly, as the ribbon suggested, I wasn’t the first the person to find the cornbread great: It had won Best of Show at the West Virginia State Fair.  When I pulled off the ribbon, I found that the recipe for the cornbread had been conveniently stuck to the back of it.  Without asking if anyone else at the table wanted it – sorry, guys – I pocketed it.  I also asked Joel, a native West Virginian, who Cathy Justice was.  Turns out she’s Mrs. Jim Justice and Mr. Jim Justice is The Greenbrier’s new owner.

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When the cornbread went on the menu, Mrs. Justice gave a little tutorial in The Greenbrier’s perfect demonstration kitchen (it’s where I gave my class).  Here she is showing Chef Rosendale her technique.  I didn’t have the benefit of a personal session with Cathy Justice, but I did make the cornbread last night.  It’s as simple a recipe as you’ll find, but it turns out a terrific, unusually tender cornbread. 

Knowing you, my dear readers, you’re bound to play around with the recipe.  If you tweak and play, write and tell you what you did.

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Here’s last night’s bread and here’s the recipe:

CATHY JUSTICE’S BEST OF SHOW BLUE RIBBON CORNBREAD

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/16 teaspoon salt (I used 1/2 tsp.)
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, slightly beaten
3/4 cup canola oil

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

Prepare an 8”-x-8” oiled pan.  (I used a nonstick pan.)

Mix all dry ingredients.  (I whisked the ingredients together.)

Add liquids.  (I whisked all the liquid ingredients together until they were creamy smooth and then I poured them over the dry ingredients.)

Stir softly to mix.

Bake for 30 minutes.  (The cornbread rose and a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread came out clean.)

Dorie Greenspan

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