Cornbread is a popular kind of bread in the South of the United States. Corn is gold to the southerners of the U.S. According to history, when wheat was thriving in the northern parts of the country, it was growing rancid in the south. It was simply too hot to grow wheat and keep it properly. The Native Americans introduced corn to the new settlers of the United States. They were cultivating corn even before the settlers from Europe came, just like in South America. Corn then evolved into plenty of dishes throughout the south and thus, cornbread invented.
Cornbread can vary in texture, size and flavor. You can find cornbread recipes that are savory and dense and cornbread recipes that are fluffy, sweet and tender. Depending on the kind of cornbread you fancy, there is a huge list of food that pairs well with cornbread. You see, cornbread is more of a side rather than the main show. It’s a good source of carbohydrates, which would pair well with main dishes.
Here’s a narrowed-down list of the best items that go well with cornbread.
Ain’t nothing like a southern dish like chili. Chili is made out of beans, spices, tomatoes and ground meat. There are so many varieties of chili but one thing is for sure, all kinds are spiced up, slowly cooked and keeps your belly happy. If you have a wedge of cornbread, dip it in your bowl of chili to scoop out the beans and meat. Just describing this is making me hungry.
If you’re having cornbread with chili, try to have it with the savory and the sweet one and see what you like best. I find myself enjoying the sweet cornbread with the chili more because the sugar is a nice surprise to every bite of strong chili.
Let me throw all my best Southern dishes cards on the table first. Cornbread is one of the main sides for BBQ. BBQ marinade and BBQ sauce are strong and deep in flavor. When paired with cornbread, the flavors are balanced and slightly neutralized as not to surprise or tire your mouth of the strong flavors. We love a good BBQ and we love a good BBQ with cornbread. Try having BBQ with the savory cornbread. It will feel like a complete meal!
3. Fried Chicken and Gravy
Fried chicken, cornbread and gravy have been a perfect trio since cornbread happened. This trifecta has become so popular that fast-food restaurants and restaurants from all over the world have adapted this simple yes completely satisfying meal.
Dunk your fried chicken in hot gravy, have a bite! Dunk your cornbread in gravy, have a bite. It’s the perfect pairing.
4. Butter and Jam
Let’s set aside the main dishes and put cornbread under the spotlight as the main character here.
Cornbread could be dense, savory and crisp on the outside. Cornbread can be tender, slightly crisp on the outside and subtly sweet. Whatever your cornbread of choice, when these are freshly baked, it tastes the best with softened butter and your choice of jam. I would often have it with orange jam because the tang cuts through the richness of the cornbread.
Experiment! Try different kinds of butters, jams, and even other spreads with cornbread. It might just be your new favorite kind of bread.
Hotdogs are easy to eat and delicious. It’s usually already served in a bun and you can put mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, relish or even chili on top. Hotdog seems like a complete snack on its own but it seems lonely in front of you. One could argue that fries would be the best to pair this with hotdogs as you would be hamburgers but try pairing a nice hotdog snack with a tender cornbread muffin. You’ll get equally full and it’ll be a hit with the kids!
We’ve been talking about what goes well with cornbread, what goes perfectly with cornbread, what could be paired with cornbread. But what if we ask, what would go well IN cornbread?
Cornbread is fairly neutral in its flavor just like any kind of bread. It just has that subtle corn flavor, subtle sweetness or subtle saltiness and the texture of cornmeal. Cornbread would be a lot extra if you added something in it to shush it up.
Bacon is our number 1 pick for this. Bacon is perfection. Everybody loves bacon. If you crisp up bacon, chop it up and mix it in your cornbread batter, you will be forever cherished by whoever will eat it. Biting into a perfectly tender cornbread with bits of bacon will elevate the cornbread experience to Cloud 9. Slather some butter on top and chomp away!
7. Apple Sauce
Apple Sauce has many uses. It is a key ingredient in baking vegan goods. It is also a good additive to non-vegan baked good. Apple Sauce goes well as a dressing and in this entry; apple sauce goes well with chicken pot pie.
Apple sauce is a sweet and slightly tangy sauce. This flavor balance complements rich food such a chicken potpie. If you have a richer than usual chicken potpie, you may have it with apple sauce to balance the richness of the gravy and the pastry. It also stirs things up in your mouth in a good way.
Are your kids not into eating vegetables or simply don’t like seeing them whole? Chopping them up into pieces and adding them to cornbread batter will soften their hearts for vegetables,
You can chop up vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, carrots or zucchini. This kind of vegetable cornbread would be great to dip into chili or other southern-like stews.
If you’re a cheese lover, you can totally add any kind of cheese into your cornbread, Name the cheese, it’ll go well! Just remember that this works if you love the kind of cheese you’re mixing into your cornbread batter.
You can mix bleu cheese into cornbread batter but if you’re not a fan of bleu cheese, you won’t be too happy with the results. If you’re not so sure on what cheese to add into your cornbread, try cheddar first. It’ll take you a long way when you bite into that cheesy cornbread while you’re having your BBQ.
10. As stuffing
Have you ever tried cornbread as stuffing? Of course you have. You celebrate Thanksgiving! Cornbread is one of the more popular kinds of stuffing for turkey and other dishes that require stuffing such as meatloaf and chicken roasts. This is when the savory kind of cornbread really shines. It is usually taken apart and added with vegetables and spices. Cornbread as stuffing is one way to truly enjoy this special kind of bread.