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Italian Cornbread Croutons

Recipe and photography by Bev Davis.

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Posted August 25, 2017

Add a dash of creative flavor to your favorite salad with thin crusty cornbread squares (made with or without sugar).  They're brushed with seasoned Italian butter which gives them amazing flavor.    The inside is moist and tender.  The outside is crusty... not extremely hard like classic croutons.  Pairs well with vegetable soup and barbecue.   These croutons are also delicious without Italian butter.   The idea for this recipe came to me while eating flapjacks (similar to pancakes).   The bite sized pieces looked like croutons.  Odd, but true.   Since classic croutons are seasoned, I decided to whip up my favorite Italian Butter for this recipe.   Perfect match!  Very easy to make.  Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

1 cup self-rising white cornmeal mix

2 tablespoons corn muffin mix

1/2 cup self-rising flour

2 tablespoons sugar (optional)

2 large eggs, beaten

1 cup buttermilk

2-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil


ITALIAN BUTTER

2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine

1 tablespoon dried Italian Seasoning

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon salt (or more if desired)


INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In medium-sized bowl, combine cornmeal mix, corn muffin mix, flour, sugar (if using), eggs, and buttermilk.  Mix until well combined.  Batter will be pourable.  Small lumps okay.  Set aside.


Add vegetable oil to a 10" cast iron skillet.  Warm over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes.  Avoid smoking hot!  Add a drop of batter.  If it lightly sizzles, pour in batter.  Reduce oven to 375 degrees.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Watch closely to prevent burning.  Wear an oven mitt and use potholders to remove HOT skillet from HOT oven.  The cornbread will be thin and will feel hard.  The inside is moist.  Perfect texture for croutons.  Let cool 10 minutes.  Leave in skillet or place on a large plate.  Slice vertically and then horizontally...

with 1/2" space in between (see photos).  Delicious as is or brushed with Italian butter.


ITALIAN BUTTER
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.  Mix well.  Brush over warm cornbread in skillet... before slicing into croutons.  Serve immediately.  Or, store in an airtight container.  Refrigerate for up to 3 days.   To warm, spread in a single layer on a large cookie sheet or pizza pan.  Place in 400 degree preheated oven for 10 minutes. 


Makes 50 to 55 cornbread croutons.