Baking & Dessert

By Tara O'Keeffe | March 24, 2011

Photo: Tara O’Keeffe

Red Rooster, Marcus Samulesson’s new restaurant in the heart of a vibrant and redefined Harlem, is all the buzz in New York City these days.

Not only for Samuelsson’s talents and inventive soul food with a Swedish and African flare, but for drawing attention to one of the City’s cultural and historical gems.

A cold, winter’s evening a few week’s back I had the fortunate chance of getting a reservation at the Rooster (that’s what all the cool people are calling it) so I could see what all the talk was about for myself. The minute you walk in the door you can feel the energy-people were buzzing, the bar was busy, and the open kitchen showcased the hardworking staff hustling to get plates of crispy fried yardbird and sweet potato doughnuts to a packed house of diners.

Photo: Tara O’Keeffe

My date and I sipped on the bourbon Negroni, warm and fragrant with roasted figs and pear, and enjoyed the spiced duck liver pudding, the warm and tender braised oxtails, and Helga’s meatballs, Samuelsson’s version of the Swedish classic. All the dishes were full of bold flavors and comforting textures, but what really impressed me was their warm and spicy corn bread, served with an indulgent accompaniment of honey butter and African-spiced tomato jam. I could have easily eaten a plateful right then and there.

My obsession over the Rooster’s corn bread and my persistence allowed me to obtain the recipe from executive chef Andrea Bergquist, which I’m excited to share with you. The recipe is simple and will take you less than 10 minutes to prepare, requires no kneading or special tools, and will be the perfect addition to your dinner table any night of the week.

The secret ingredient that really makes this bread shine is dried aleppo pepper, which is a Middle Eastern spice with a deep red hue and a slightly sweet but spicy flavor. If you can’t find aleppo pepper you could substitute paprika, a close cousin, to get the idea. Check out your local gourmet grocer or a spice shop and pick some up if you can.

You must serve this bread warm with honey butter-honey mixed into room temperature or melted butter-in fact slather it on the slices, pop it back in the oven to warm through, and serve with more on the side for good measure.

Photo: Tara O’Keeffe

Recipe courtesy Red Rooster Harlem

Tara O’Keeffe is a food writer and author of

Red Rooster Harlem Corn Bread Recipe

Servings: 8


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp dried aleppo flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Honey butter, for serving


1, Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, aleppo flakes, and salt in a large bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, buttermilk, and olive oil.

4. Combine the two mixtures and stir until a smooth consistency.

5. Pour the batter into 9 by 5-inch loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray.

6. Bake in the oven for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the edges are golden brown.

Serve warm with honey butter.

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Whether it’s finding the best goat tacos in LA, spotting a well-worn vintage bag in Sweden, or interviewing the “crab man” selling seafood on a corner in Harlem, we tell stories seen from Chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s point of view. strives to create conversations about food, nutrition, culture, art, and design. We want to find Read More


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