About 15 years ago, I read the book, A Trip to the Beach, by Robert & Melinda Blanchard. It's the story of how a couple uprooted themselves from their long-time home in Vermont to the Caribbean island of Anguilla where they opened a restaurant called Blanchard's Restaurant. It was a great read and I was delighted when they came out with a cookbook a few years later. I've since pared down my once-substantial cookbook collection, but this is one of the books I deemed good enough to keep. The recipes are casual, meant for home cooks, and incorporate recipes from their New England roots, as well as Caribbean influenced ones.
Recently I grabbed the cookbook off my bookshelf and browsed through it (going through old cookbooks is like visiting a long-lost friend!) I was reminded that there were some recipes I had made and enjoyed, as well as some I would like to try. One recipe I've made numerous times is their Caribbean cornbread. It's not your normal kind of cornbread. It's moist and rich, with kernels of corn, Monterey Jack cheese and bits of crushed pineapple. It was a great accompaniment to the smoked pork ribs my son made for dinner.
Caribbean Corn Bread
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 can cream-style corn
1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Butter and flour a 9-inch square glass cake pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, corn meal, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
In a mixer, cream the butter and sugar. While the mixer is running, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the corn, pineapple, and cheese, and mix to blend. On low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until blended well.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester (or skewer) inserted in the center comes out clean, about on hour to an hour and fifteen minutes. Do not undercook the cornbread. It should be golden brown on top when done.