Big Tex burned up, but we found a new flame.
Its name is FT33 (FT stands for the command fire table; 33 numbers the best spot in the house). With 80 seats, inventive American dishes made from seasonal Texas ingredients, and a blazing wine list, the new Design District joint is hotter than Dante’s inferno.
So we buttered up executive chef/owner Matt McCallister for his coveted cast-iron cornbread recipe. Seemed only fair.
Cast-Iron Cornbread with Hot Sauce Butter and Mango Chutney
For the cornbread
2 tbsp. bacon drippings
2 c. cornmeal (Anson Mills or Homestead grits mill)
½ c. sifted flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 egg lightly beaten
2 c. buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 450°.
2. Put the drippings in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and place it in the oven for a few minutes until it’s sizzling.
3. Mix together dry ingredients and set aside.
4. Whisk egg and buttermilk, then mix with dry ingredients.
5. Take the skillet out of oven and pour the hot oil into the batter and mix.
6. Pour the batter into the skillet and bake for 20 minutes, until the cornbread is brown on top and pulling away from the sides of the pan.
7. Immediately upon taking the cornbread out of the oven, serve with a slice of hot sauce butter (recipe below) on top and a side of mango chutney (recipe below).
For the hot sauce butter
1 lb. butter
5 tbsp. Tabasco
1. Dice up the butter and place in a mixing bowl.
2. Using the whisk attachment, whip the butter at medium speed until it softens and lightens in color, about 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Add hot sauce one tablespoon at a time until fully emulsified.
4. Scrap the compound butter out of the bowl and onto a piece of parchment paper. Roll into a cylinder and refrigerate.
For the mango chutney
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. turmeric
¼ tsp. cardamom
1 c. vinegar
1 c. brown sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ tsp. minced ginger
3 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and diced
1. In a large saucepan, stir the coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and cardamom over medium/high heat for a couple of minutes to release the flavor.
2. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger; stir until it comes to a boil.
3. Add mangoes and let it return to a boil. Lower to a simmer and stir occasionally for 1 to 2 hours or until it is a thick consistency and then let cool.
Or just skip the DIY and head to FT33, 1617 Hi Line Drive, suite 250 (214-741-2629 or ft33dallas.com).
Photo: Kevin Marple