Smoky Southern Cornbread

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Filled with bacon and greens, this hearty cornbread is almost a meal itself. “I used to make this Smoky Southern Cornbread for my girls when they were little,” says Zina. “It’s based on my mother’s recipe with a little extra goodness stirred in.” Recipe courtesy of Zina Bass, Byram, Mississippi.

Smoky Southern Cornbread
 
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1½ cups firmly packed finely chopped collard greens
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage
  • 2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1⅓ cups whole buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • ¾ cup shredded smoked Cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from skillet, and set aside. Add collards and sage; cook until collards wilt, approximately 1 minute. Remove from heat. Remove collard mixture from skillet, and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together cornmeal mix, pepper, buttermilk, eggs, and 1 tablespoon oil. Stir in collard mixture, bacon, and cheese. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet; heat over medium-high heat until hot. Remove from heat. Pour cornmeal mixture into hot oil, smoothing top, if needed.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, approximately 20 minutes. Let cool in skillet on a wire rack 10 minutes.

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