Once upon a time, earlier this summer, Ashley took me to a secret vegetarian- and gluten-free-friendly brunch spot: E.L. Ruddy Co. Café. They do all sorts of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free muffins in a super-cute space with a really chill vibe.
I ordered the Yelapa — scrambled eggs (or tofu), home fries, “refried” beans, housemade salsa, and a cornbread muffin that got me thinking.
I’d never had cornbread for breakfast before, but I loved how all the flavours went together and it made an impression.
The next week we were away at a cabin on Lake Huron, where we had sundowners on the beach:
And enjoyed all the different piers on Lake Huron:
And the surrounding farmers’ fields:
One morning on Lake Huron, I was making breakfast for Mr. KitchenOperas and a friend of ours. I decided that along with our scrambled eggs and refried beans, I really needed to make cornbread. But of course, I hadn’t brought cornmeal out-of-town with us. But I had brought some masa harina (precooked corn flour) for making pupusas and arepas! I knew right away that masa harina would make a great cornbread — and it would have that distinct “limey” taste that corn tortillas have from the masa harina being soaked in lime (the acid, not the citrus fruit).
This cornbread is a little bit crumbly, and has a crispy bottom. There’s a little bit of sweetness from the honey or maple syrup, that I think cornbread needs. It’s really decadent topped with a generous pat of butter, and served alongside your eggy breakfast. It would also be fabulous along with Mole Veggie Chili in place of tortillas.
Gluten-Free Masa Cornbread
Adapted from Masa Cornbread, Serves 6-8
- 1 1/2 c. masa harina
- 1/2 c. brown rice flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
- 1.5 c. milk (cow’s, soy, almond, etc.)
- 1/2 stick (4 Tbsp / 56g) butter, softened and divided into two equal portions
Preheat oven to 425F and place your cast iron skillet into the oven.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: masa harina, brown rice flour, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients: eggs, honey, and milk.
Using your fingers, rub half of the butter (2 Tbsp/23g) into the dry ingredients until you get a crumbly texture. Then add the wet ingredients and mix well with a spatula or your hands until all ingredients are incorporated.
Carefully place the other half of the butter (2 Tbsp/23g) into the preheated cast-iron skillet in the oven. Let the butter melt, then remove the HOT skillet from the oven. Carefully press your cornbread dough into the HOT skillet, using your fingers to spread it out evenly across the surface of the skillet.
Bake at 425F for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden and a sharp knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Eat warm, straight from the skillet, topped with lots of butter, and enjoy!
Variation – Roasted Poblano Masa Cornbread: Roast 1 poblano pepper under the broiler, turning with tongs, for 12 minutes or until all sides are blackened. Let cool on a cooling rack, then peel. Chop the roasted poblano, discarding the seeds and stem. Add the chopped poblano to the recipe above, once you have mixed all other ingredients, and proceed with the original recipe.