24 January 2014

Guest Kitchen: Skillet Cornbread with Chilis

I took my ingredients on the road this month!  What's the occasion?  A birthday / chili cook-off extravaganza.  It's possible I took the easy way out by making some cornbread instead of chili, but there was plenty of chili to go around.  Five chilis, three cornbreads, and lots of socialization.  Throw in a few birthday presents and some wine and it's a party!
I added some peppers to this one - canned chilis and rehydrated pasilla peppers.  If you want to add peppers, start here because the chilis need to drain!  Otherwise, start out with the dry ingredients:  flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Mix in the egg and buttermilk.
Add in the peppers.
Melt the butter in the skillet.  This can be done in the preheated oven or over the stove.  Pour in the batter and then put the skillet in the oven.  Isn't cast iron great?
Except maybe this is an unfamiliar oven and maybe things aren't happening quite as planned.
Twenty minutes later, beautiful cornbread!
Here's my take on the whole pepper thing:  if you want some heat, then add fresh hot peppers.  Canned chilis didn't really do much for the heat factor of this cornbread.
Skillet Cornbread (based on this recipe)
  • 1/2 c. diced canned green chilis
  • 1 1/4 c. cornmeal
  • 1 1/4 c. flour
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 c. buttermilk*
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbs butter
1.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.   Drain the chilis and put them in a bowl lined with paper towel to remove excess moisture.
2.  Mix all the dry ingredients.  Stir in the buttermilk and egg.  Add the chilis and stir until well mixed.
3.  Put the butter in a 10" skillet and set it in the oven for a couple minutes to melt the butter.  Remove the skillet from the oven and swirl around the butter to coat the pan.  Pour in the cornbread batter.
4.  Put the skillet in the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.  Serve warm.

*No buttermilk on hand?  Me neither.  Instead, you can make your own by adding 1 tbs vinegar per each cup of milk.  In this case, I would pour 1 3/4 cups of milk into a measuring cup, then add 1 tbs + 2 tsp of vinegar.  Stir it and let it stand for at least 1 minute.
This cornbread is best warm.  It's a little on the drier side, which makes it a great cornbread to eat with chili.  And it glides out of the skillet without any sticking at all.  Fantastic. 

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