My family and I took a little getaway vacation the other weekend to Hilton Head and savored the last remains of fall warmth on our skins at the beach. No, don’t go assuming I was in a bikini, it was not THAT warm here in the south. But it was definitely comfortable enough to take long walks on the beach, watch sea life in the pools of water at low tide, chase the sandpipers until they take begrudgingly take flight and let the kids build their version of a sandcastle. Life at the beach can be so soothing and calm for our family.
While we were there, we stopped at a local restaurant called, “Roastfish and Cornbread.” At first impression, it looks like a house – probably was at one time. Either way, it was set back among the large trees with Spanish Moss draping over the branches. Beautiful. We enjoyed the meal there, but it was truly about the cornbread.
I know what you’re thinking. It’s just cornbread. NO, it’s not. It’s heaven in your mouth! Warm, spicy, sweet…. Gullah cuisine. You either love it or you don’t. My family and I do, and were all over that cornbread, so much so that we were practically fighting over it. I think my poor husband got the short end of the stick and hardly had a bite. So, today I decided it was “high time” that I made a batch of this cornbread. Fortunately, I found an article from the restaurant supplying the recipe. SCORE! Sometimes if you do your research, you just might get lucky.
- 3 cups diced and boiled sweet potatoes
- 1 cup fine cornmeal
- 1 cup medium to coarse cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- ½-1 tablespoon dry Jamaican Jerk seasoning (add according to heat desire)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup liquid margarine or melted butter flavored shortening
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups water (more, or less, as needed)
- Sweet Potato Syrup
Ingredients for syrup :
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
Recipe for Sweet Potato Prep and Syrup:
Place potatoes in a 4-quart saucepan. Cover potatoes with enough water to cover, add sugar and brown sugar, then over medium-high heat, boil potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. Do NOT drain water out. Pull out potatoes with a hand strainer and set in a medium bowl. Slightly mash the potatoes, using a fork, do not blend to smooth texture – set potatoes aside. Reduce the sugar water combo until a dark amber thick syrup forms. Set syrup aside .
Recipe for Cornbread:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients mixing well to incorporate. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add vanilla, shortening, sour cream and 1 cup of semi-mashed sweet potatoes (do not pack potatoes in cup.) Mix with a rubber spatula from the center. Adding 1 cup of water at time, mix well. The batter should be soft but not runny. Fold in remaining sweet potatoes. Moderately grease a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan and pour in batter to fill ¾’s full. Bake for about 1 hour or until done. (Check for doneness by inserting a knife or toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, the cornbread is done.) Remove from oven and drizzle with sweet potato syrup. Cool for 30 minutes, then serve.
I hope that you enjoy this delightful recipe! I’m about to have a piece myself and savor the moment. Enjoy!