I love cornbread and was excited about this week's Tuesdays with Dorie selection (although I have to admit it's one of the least photogenic so far!) My grandmother used to make hers out of yellow cake mix so I like it sweet or spicy. I have to say, a little pepper goes a long way in dressing it up. This recipe features freshly ground pepper, chopped bell pepper, and canned green chilies. Dorie suggests jalapenos but for the sensitive stomachs around I opted for the milder chilies. I think I kind of over did it by adding lots of pepper jack cheese, but it was gooey and delicious. I added the chili powder she recommended but didn't love it, so I'll leave it out next time. I think the color will be better and the flavor, too.
Being the new year and all, I subbed in some whole wheat flour. No one was the wiser. That's how I like it. Check out the fabulous Ezra Pound Cake for the original recipe or see my version below. Either way, there's plenty of options for substitutions and preferences- I love it!
Spicy Southwestern Cornbread
adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 tablespoon vinegar plus milk to fill one cup, allowed a few minutes to curdle)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 can mild green chilies
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
3 slices pepper jack cheese, chopped into 1/2 inch squares
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter an 8 x 8 baking dish and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, pepper, and baking soda.
In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk the buttermilk, melted butter and egg yolk together until well blended.
Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and, with the whisk or a rubber spatula, gently but quickly stir to blend. Don’t worry about being thorough – the batter will be lumpy, and that’s just the way it should be. Stir in the corn kernels, cilantro, bell pepper, chilies, and pepper jack cheese.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden and a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.