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Smoky Burnt-Sugar Beet Cornbread

From Statesboro Market2Go

<p>This richly flavored and truly traditional recipe is from North Carolina-based cultural preservationist Gabrielle Eitienne. For best results, cook beets in a smoker. If you cannot, oven-roasting works, too. I have posted this recipe&#8217;s steps exactly as they appear on the Wall Street Journal&#8217;s recipe section.</p>
Source: (recipe from Gabrielle Eitienne) (Entered by Ariana Giddens)
Serves: 8

Hickory smoking chips
OR 1/2 cup of bourbon
2 large Beets
Olive oil (for drizzling)
1/2 cup molasses (plus more for topping)
OR maple syrup
2 tablespoons Smoked paprika
1 stick of Butter
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup Stone-milled or fine-milled cornmeal
2 teaspoons Baking powder
1 tablespoon Ground nutmeg
1/2 tablespoon Salt
1 1/2 cups Buttermilk
2 Eggs
Flaky salt

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Soak chips in water at least 30 minutes. Set smoker to 225 degrees. Peel and deeply score beets. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cook beets in smoker until fork tender, 2 hours. Or, wrap beets in foil and roast in oven at 350 degrees until tender, 1 hour. Let cool.
  2. In a blender or food processor, blend cooled beets with molasses and paprika. (For oven-roasted version, add bourbon.) Once smooth, transfer to a mixing bowl.
  3. In a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, melt butter and cook until brown and nutty smelling. Remove from heat. Pour half the butter into beet mixture, mix and let cool.
  4. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Mix buttermilk and eggs into beet mixture. Mix dry and wet ingredients together until thoroughly combined.
  5. Set skillet with remaining butter over medium heat. Pour in batter. Swirl butter up around sides of pan, and start cooking on stove top, 2 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until center rises completely and is firm to the touch, 30-35 minutes. A butter knife should come out clean. Finish with a drizzle of molasses and a sprinkling of flaky salt.