Baking the cornbread in a preheated cast-iron skillet gives it a crisp brown crust and a moist interior. If you don't have one, in step 2, use an 8-inch square metal baking pan instead of the skillet. When the cornbread is baked, let it cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove and place right side up on a wire rack.
Sara Foster, owner of Foster's Markets in North Carolina, updates the Southern tradition by adding challah to the mix. An enriched egg bread with dough similar to that of brioche, challah is ideal for stuffing. Sara especially likes to use pumpkin challah, which adds a warm, spicy aroma to the dressing.
Leave the baking sheet in the cabinet, and bake a batch of golden brown cornbread biscuits atop a tasty mix of beef and bell peppers, on the table in 45 minutes. This dinner-in-a-skillet packs generous amounts of beef, mushrooms, and red peppers; the tastes meld with the cornbread biscuits as they bake together.
This cornbread -- made slightly sweet with the addition of dark-brown sugar -- mixes very easily. Just whisk together the dry ingredients, melt the butter and sugar, and whisk in cold milk to cool the liquid. Whisk in the eggs, then stir the brown-sugar mixture into the cornmeal, scrape the batter into the pan, and bake.