What a week! After a busy (and cold! -8°! But more on that in another post) week in Southern Minnesota, I was so happy to sleep in my own warm bed and start cooking again. My first day home we went with chili (a post in the Cooking section tomorrow) and Trader Joe's "Baker Josef's" Gluten Free Cornbread Mix for a comforting and homey dinner.
Other than the milk, egg and oil, the only thing that's really required of you here is elbow grease. You'll start off by whisking together everything except the mix itself, then slowly pouring in the mix and whisking that in. You're supposed to mix that together for 2-3 minutes which involved just enough arm strength for me to regret not using our new KitchenAid stand mixer. But now I'm strong! And I have one less bowl to clean. Okay I'm still completely weak and will never be able to do a single pull-up. But still one less bowl to clean.
While mixing everything together, I was annoyed to find little lumps. As previously noted, ever since gym class in elementary school where I would be told I could stop if I'd just do one pull-up and could still barely dangle from the bar, I am not upper-body strong, but that didn't stop my irritation that those little clumps wouldn't go away. Upon closer inspection though I realized they were pieces of corn! And any other small pieces were cornmeal, which is normal for cornbread. So all was forgiven.
After letting these stand in a greased pan for ten minutes, the mix baked for about 18 minutes (less than the recommended 20-25) when the top looked golden and a toothpick came out clean.
On to the fun part:eating! Overall grade of this cornbread would be a solid A. The texture was spot on, with the expected rich cornbread flavor with minimal xantham gum (my biggest gluten-free enemy!) problems (where it makes your teeth feel like they're sticking together as you chew) and a beautiful texture. Beautiful probably seems a bit over-the-top here, but I loved that this cornbread tore apart as I'd expect, and was chewy and dense and would bounce right back when you stuck your finger in a piece like gluten-full cornbread would.
Normally we'd only have cornbread at restaurants, so there was something especially fun about fresh out of the oven cornbread pans everyone slicing their own piece instead of eating what came with their meals. I'm usually more of a chips-and-chili gal myself, but with this particular recipe I'd call it a huge hit. We didn't even think of adding butter at the table to this cornbread, which seems like an indicator of good cornbread. All in all I'd call this a huge success! Definitely going back for this easy and quick mix again.
Any other gluten free cornbread faves? Have you tried Trader Joe's gluten free cornbread mix?