Looks like things are getting Spanish up in here…I don’t know what the weather is like by you, but here it is cooooooolllllddd. And everything is under a foot of snow. Unless I’m skiing: Thanks, but no thanks. So, it seemed like the perfect time to put my oven into high gear and bake up some comfort food – using only ingredients I had in the apartment because I am not going out there unless I absolutely have to. (Did I mention it’s cold?!)
So since I am Spanish I always have a pretty solid supply of saffron and olive oil on hand. And I have been dying to make skillet cornbread forever – and now that I got a awesome cast iron skillet for Christmas (thanks, Mom!) I can finally make it! And so saffron and olive oil cornbread was born.
I wasn’t sure how saffron would go with cornbread but something deep inside me told me to try it. Kind of like that voice in the field of dreams. Only my voice was saying “Make it and you will like it. Make it and you will eat it.” Except it wasn’t creepy… and um, it kind of always says that.
But guess what? It was right. This cornbread is insane.
At first you just taste super awesome yummy cornbread, but then this subtle flavor of saffron with a hint of olive oil washes over your mouth and you just have to take another bite. It isn’t that it tastes super rich or over the top – it just has depth to it. It’s pretty much perfect. And thanks to the skillet, the outside is crisp, but the inside is moist and crumbly.
This isn’t just chili or biscuits cornbread – this stuff is sophisticated. You can make a fancy dinner and proudly serve this along side your roasted vegetables. (Welcome to my game plan, minus the fancy.)
Bonus? It’s vegan. No Eggs, no Dairy. You can serve it on it’s own, or with a pat of earth balance (or regular butter, if not vegan). I suggest just eating it on it’s own and warm. This is the only time I will probably ever say this: but here, less is more.
Bake this up and fight off this cold weather. Or, if you are someplace warm? Bake this up and love it. Seriously – it’s worth turning the oven on!
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- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1 1//4 cup Pastry or All Purpose Flour
- 1 cup Cornmeal
- 1/4 Organic or White Sugar
- 1/4 cup Agave Nectar
- 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 2/3 cup Apple Sauce
- 1 cup Almond Milk
- 1 teaspoon Saffron Threads
- 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil or additional Olive Oil
- Preheat oven to 400°
- Grind Saffron threads into powder (use a mortar and pestle, or if none, your fingers) and place in a measuring cup with almond milk. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes. Stir once more after.
- Whisk flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
- Make a well in the center and add applesauce, milk, agave nectar, and olive oil and whisk ingredients until thoroughly mixed.
- Place skillet in hot oven and let warm. Remove and brush coconut oil around pan until coated.
- Pour batter in skillet and bake for 20 - 23 minutes, or until cooked all the way through.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, place a plate on top of the skillet and flip cornbread onto plate to remove from skillet.
- Serve warm.