The recipe below comes straight out of celebrated South African chef Mariana Esterhuizen’s new cookbook, Mariana’s Country Kitchen.
Mariana, who owns an eponymous restaurant in Stanford, came up with the recipe one evening while searching for a way to turn sweetcorn from her garden into a baked accompaniment for boerewors. She recommends enjoying the cornbread with a zingy sauce, like sweet chilli, and turning any leftovers into a South African version of French toast.
150g maize meal or polenta
120g cake flour
3t baking powder
1t fine sea salt
1 cup sweetcorn kernels
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup diced green pepper
4T chopped green coriander (dhania, or basil or marjoram instead)
3 jumbo free-range eggs
250ml yoghurt or buttermilk
3T olive oil or butter to grease the skillet
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 26cm cast-iron skillet with an ovenproof handle very well with butter.
Sift the maize meal, cake flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the vegetables and coriander to the mixing bowl and stir them into the dry ingredients.
Beat the eggs lightly in a jug and stir in the yoghurt and olive oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the mixing bowl and stir until combined.
Pour into the greased skillet and bake until the top is browned and feels firm. Leave the corn bread to cool for 10 minutes and then serve it straight from the skillet.
The Mariana’s Country Kitchen recipe book is published by Human & Rousseau and can be bought for around R350.