For life in the mountains or out on the frontier, what could be better than a hearty, sturdy hunk of cornbread?
Researching old west recipes recently, the most consistent ingredient by far was unsurprisingly: cornmeal. Cornbread, corn griddle cakes, corn mush, corn dodgers; whichever way you slice it, cornmeal was (and still is in many places) a crucial staple.
I think many will agree with me when I say that cornbread definitely falls into the realm of comfort food, and as I sit here writing this on a stormy winter day in the Tetons, that sentiment is only enhanced. Dunked in a warm bowl of stew or chili, or wrapped up carefully for an adventure outside, cornbread is hard to beat.
I adapted this recipe for skillet cornbread from a website called The Pioneer Woman, which seemed like a fitting place to find a heritage recipe like this. I took the liberty of adding in chopped green onions, sharp cheddar cheese, and black pepper, which I always think enhances any sort of savory corn cake. You can definitely omit the onions and pepper if you prefer your slice on the sweeter side covered in jam. Whatever you do, don’t omit the cheese.
One might call the Western Chef a bit overkill for chopping up cheese and green onions or slicing up hunks of this tasty skillet bread, but this knife wasn’t designed for the kitchen cowboy for nothing. The 8-inch clip-point blade borders on a cleaver. While no hacking was done in the making of this skillet bread, the Western Chef seamlessly chopped and diced all my cornbread fixings. It’s certainly the perfect tool for the job if you’re tackling a large bird or in need of some serious chopping. Wielding my Western Chef, I’m doubtful there’s a kitchen project that I couldn’t conquer.
Old Fashioned Skillet Cornbread