Thursday, December 29, 2022

Sweet Potato Cornbread with Hot Honey Lime butter

I’ve always looked forward to celebrating New Year’s Day with a giant feast of black eyed peas, greens, and cornbread. This holy trinity of southern food stems out of the African diaspora, like many southern favorites, and they are a symbol of luck, money, and prosperity in the forthcoming year.

I eat a lot of cornbread this time of year, not just on January 1, because it makes for the perfect comforting side to go with all the soups and chili I make in the cold months. I’ve been trying out new flavor combinations for a while, and I wanted to share a recipe for one of my favorites: sweet potato cornbread with hot honey lime butter. I love the flavor combination—it's a little sweet and spicy and sour. You may wany to make a double batch of the butter because if you're like me you'll slather it on every bite.

The black eyed peas recipe I make each year is inspired by a Greek stew. It isn’t the traditional southern way of eating the dish—there's no pork, and it's a little lighter. In my opinion, the biggest flavor boost comes from the fresh lemon juice and herbs stirred in at the end. I also love the salty-sour pop from the addition of feta cheese.

Sweet Potato Cornbread with Hot Honey Lime butter

Yield: Makes 16 servings

Time: 30 minutes prep, 35 minutes cook


For the cornbread

  • 1 cup (152 grams) cornmeal
  • 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup (240 grams) sweet potato puree*
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) brown butter, cooled to room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (107 grams) brown sugar**

For the hot honey lime butter

  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) Challenge salted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons hot honey***
  • Zest from 1 lime


For the cornbread

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper and spray coat with nonstick spray.
  • Combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  • In large bowl, stir together sweet potato puree, brown butter, eggs, sour cream, maple syrup, and brown sugar.
  • Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Pour batter into baking dish.
  • Place in oven and bake to 35 to 40 minutes, or until center of cornbread feels firm and slightly springy.

For the hot honey lime butter

  • Stir together butter, hot honey, and lime zest until smooth.


*Make sweet potato puree by roasting sweet potato at 450 for 90 minutes or peeling, chopping, and boiling potato until tender. Put cooked sweet potato in food processor until smooth.

**Melt butter in thick-bottomed skillet on medium heat. Continue to heat butter until foam on top subsides and brown specks form at bottom of skillet. Remove the skillet from the burner and pour the butter into a bowl to prevent it from continuing to cook. Allow the butter to cool to room temperature before incorporating it into the rest of the wet ingredients.

***I purchased hot honey, but if you can’t find any, you can make your own.

Black eyed peas and greens with dill

Yield: Six 1-cup servings

Time: 30 minutes prep, 45 minutes cook


  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 large bunch Swiss chard (or collard greens), stems removed and diced, leaves cut in ribbons
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup stock (or water)
  • 1 pound black eyed peas, cooked
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: Feta cheese


  1. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven. Add onion and Swiss chard stems and saute on medium heat until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and saute another minute.
  3. Add tomatoes (with juice), red wine vinegar, stock, and black eyed peas. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover Dutch oven.
  4. Continue to simmer until black eyed peas are soft but not mushy, about 45 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and dill. 
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with feta cheese if desired.


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