Corn Sticks

Soup and chili weather is fast approaching...more for you than me, but our night temps dropped below 70 for the first time. We had a cold winter last year, so who knows what's in store for Floridians this year?

I love old fashioned corn sticks and am lucky enough to have one of those marvelous cast iron pans to cook them in. And I saved some bacon grease to coat it with too. What could be better?

I found this recipe in Sarah Leah Chase's Cold-Weather Cooking. It's got some mustard seeds for a little crunch, cheddar, chives and lovely grainy Dijon mustard, a super combination. How could it miss? With chili (I wish I had made Deana's recipe!), stews and short ribs, these are perfect. I never would have thought to try it, but Sarah suggests serving them with winter brunch egg dishes as well. So I made a batch in my miniature muffin tins...much more appropriate for brunch, I think.

One small bench note: the cheese makes these stick a bit so use plenty of grease and remove from the pan carefully. When I made the muffins, I also sprinkled some fine bread crumbs in the tins before filling.

Cheddar and Mustard Corn Sticks

From Cold-Weather Cooking by Sarah Leah Chase

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives or scallions
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
melted lard, bacon grease or butter for the molds

Preheat oven to 350. Stir the first 8 ingredients together in a bowl. In another bowl, stir the remaining ingredients and then add the cornmeal mixture. Stir until just blended.

Brush the mold with the grease and spoon the filling in, about 3/4 full. Bake until crusty golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Let cool slightly, turn out on a wire rack and repeat the process with the remaining batter.

Makes 12-14 corn sticks.

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