Monday, March 31, 2014

Chile Cheese Cornbread in a Skillet

Where's my appetite? It's gone... lost, misplaced, ignored or something. Lately I haven't cared to cook or eat much, and that feels strange. This morning a few guilt pangs propelled me into the kitchen so our breakfast might be something other than the usual smoothie or a bowl of oatmeal. 

There I was, hanging out in the kitchen, halfway tuned in to the television chatting away in the background, wondering what to do next? "BACON!" caught my attention, an entire program dedicated to some host's bucket list of bacon dishes. Bacon? no way, not today, not a sensible post-op breakfast choice and it truly had lost it's appeal -- omigosh, that's unusual for this bacon-loving cook!

Quick bread, specifically cornbread, popped into my mind as an easy-to-make, quick-to-bake breakfast item. The longer I thought about it, the better it sounded. Add a few favorite ingredients for flavor, some sour cream to keep it moist, and this could be a winner. How could it miss with corn kernels, chipotle-based chile powder, pepper jack cheese and canned chiles in the mix?

Today's cornbread was unexpectedly tender-crumbed and moist (always a good thing for cornbread), with mild chile-flavored heat and a nice toothy bite from the whole corn. RL requested more chile heat for the next batch, not an usual request from him but surprising since he hasn't cared much for cornbread in the past. I think we have a winner here. 

I ate my wedge with a light slather of butter and RL topped his first slice with hot pepper jelly and his second with orange marmalade plus a few splashes of green tabasco. Mmmmm, good. Any leftover cornbread would be delicious accompanying soup or used as a base for a hot, roasted sweet pepper sandwich. 

Now about that bacon - I served RL several sizzling strips while I enjoyed the aroma without any temptation to eat some... nope, not even one piece. No doubt a strange but temporary condition.

Moist Chile Cheese Cornbread
Oven-Baked in a Cast Iron Skillet

Dry ingredients:
1 cup finely ground cornmeal (yellow or white)
1 cup AP flour
1 1/2  teaspoons baking powder
1.2 teaspoon baking soda
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chile powder (Penzey's Chili 3000)

Wet ingredients:
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can Nestle Media Crema (table cream)
6 Tablespoons (3/4 cube) butter, melted, divided
2/3 cup corn (thawed & drained if using frozen)
2/3 cup PepperJack cheese, grated
1 can diced chiles, drained

  1. Place an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a cast iron skillet, 10-inch preferred.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. 
  3. Use a medium bowl and whisk together the wet ingredients using only 4 tablespoons of the melted butter (reserve the remaining 2 tablespoons for later).
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir with a large spoon or spatula until just combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Heat the buttered skillet (briefly in the preheated oven or on stovetop over medium heat). Pour the batter into the skillet, leveling somewhat to avoid a mounded middle.
  6. Bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter over the top. 
  7. Return to the oven and bake until golden brown and a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean, roughly 10-15 minutes. Cool for 5-10 minutes on a baking rack to let the center set up. Cut into wedges or squares and serve plain or with desired toppings. 

1 comment:

  1. This batter would make delicious mini muffins, perfect nibbles to accompany a bowl of chili or a plate of cowboy beans.


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