Cornbread Barrel Bungs from the new Jack Daniel’s Cookbook. We love this recipe!
The new Jack Daniel’s Cookbook that R.B. and I wrote with Lynne Tolley, the great-grand niece of Jack Daniel, is hot off the press and makes a fun holiday gift for all the Southern cookbook and Jack Daniel’s lovers on your list.
I’m thrilled to finally have the book in my hands and revisit all the great recipes we all worked on. One of my absolute favorites is the cornbread barrel bungs. They’re little crispy corn cakes made in mini muffin pans that look just like the bungs that seal up the Jack Daniel’s aging barrels.
These little bungs are a perfect cocktail party appetizer that I like to think of as the Tennessee version of the French Gougères (Goo-ZHAIR), the little classic cheese puffs made with gruyere cheese that go so wonderfully with wine or champagne. Only these are made with cheddar cheese and southern self-rising cornmeal mix and pair perfectly with a Jack Daniel’s cocktail or an ice cold beer. We’ve got a few variations in the book including the okra cornbread barrel bungs below and one with little dollops of barbecue baked in the center.
I still can’t stopping thinking about creating more variations. It’s so fun! In fact, I recently made cornbread bungs for a party with pepper Jack cheese and roasted green chiles. Everyone went crazy. They’re super easy and addictive so make a double batch and see what variations you can come up with. I’m may even break the no-sugar-in-the-cornbread rule and make a sweet batch with cream-style corn.
You can make these ahead and reheat them on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. And I think they’re great at room temperature, too.
- ¾ cup self-rising cornmeal mix
- ¾ cup buttermilk or about ½ cup sweet milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 cup fresh thinly sliced okra or thawed frozen okra slices
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese)
- Black pepper, to taste
- Heat the oven to 450° F. Grease 24 mini muffin cups.
- If you’re using fresh okra, place it in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave the slices about 1 minute until the pieces are slightly softened, but still bright green.
- Combine the okra with the remaining ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
- The batter should be creamy and pourable. If it seems too thick, add a splash of water.
- Using a teaspoon spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups.
- You should have just enough batter to fill all 24 cups about half full.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool the pan on a wire rack about 5 minutes.
- Remove the muffins from the pan and serve warm or at room temperature.
- 1/2 cup chopped, roasted green chiles for the okra.