Miss Brenda’s Cornbread

Serves 6. Recipe is from “Tujague’s Cookbook: Creole Recipes and Lore in the New Orleans Grand Tradition” by Poppy Tooker. Brenda Gooden, or “Miss Brenda,” has worked in Tujague’s kitchen since 1970. The 17-year-old Gooden began as a dishwasher but soon began to cook. Tooker describes her as “an essential part of the continuity” of Tujague’s with an “institutional knowledge” of the restaurant’s recipes.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus butter for baking dish

1 cup cornmeal

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1½ cups buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Lightly grease an 8-inch baking dish.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, buttermilk and butter. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the cornmeal mixture and fold together until there are no dry spots (the batter will still be lumpy). Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.

4. Bake until the top is golden brown and a tester inserted into the middle of the cornbread comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.