After my first Southern meal of catfish and hush puppies (detailed in parts One, Two, and Three), my next experiment was black-eyed peas with ham shanks (detailed in part Five) and fried cornbread.
This time I didn't need to use the deep fryer, just a frying pan and a much smaller amount of oil. Since I had carefully strained and stored the shortening from the catfish and hush puppies I was able to re-use some of that shortening to fry the cornbread.
Using that oil also allowed me to test my theory about using oil that had been used for fish. It did, indeed, impart some great flavor.
First you assemble the dry ingredients, then add boiling water, stir, shape and fry. It really is that easy!
While the process in quite simple, it also takes some patience, a word that keeps coming up again and again as I go through these recipes. Giving the dry ingredients a few minutes to absorb the boiling water and to cool seems to develop a more easily-handled dough.
In a couple minutes they were cooked through and a beautiful golden brown.
And here's the finished plate of fried cornbread, ready to sop up the juices off the black-eyed peas!
1 1/2 cup self-rising cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups boiling water
Place the shaped pieces on plastic wrap or waxed paper until all pieces are shaped.
Heat about a half-inch of oil or shortening in a large frying pan. When the oil is hot, place a few pieces of cornbread in the hot oil. Cook until the bottom is golden and the edges begin to brown. Turn and continue frying until the second side is also golden.
Drain on paper towels, and serve with your favorite Southern main dish!
Up next - Part Seven - Tasty Sweet Potato Failure