This recipe is adapted from my grandmother’s cast iron skillet cornbread, which is made in true Texas style…course and savory, not cakey and sweet. I love the flavors of roasted corn and green chilis and onion and cheese in my cornbread, so I overloaded this recipe with good stuff. I made this on MasterChef, and paired it with a pork butt chili…you can find that recipe in Main Courses. Enjoy!
Place the oven rack at the highest location directly beneath the broiler, and place directly on the rack:
2 poblano peppers (or Anaheim, Hatch or any sweet/spicy chili of medium temperature)
1 ear of corn, shucked
(You can eliminate this step by using canned corn and canned diced green chilis, but the flavor will not be as robust.)
When both the peppers and corn are blackened on top, carefully rotate them with a pair of tongs until they are blackened on the other side. Remove them from the oven and let them cool. Slice the corn from the cob. Cut off the top of the peppers, slice them open, and discard the seeds. (Do NOT peel the peppers, the blackened skin contributes flavor and color.) Dice the peppers.
Preheat your oven to 400F and place a large cast iron skillet on your stovetop over medium heat. (If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can cook this in a 9×13″ glass or aluminum pan, but do not preheat the pan, only the oven.)
In a large bowl, combine:
2 cups cornmeal
3/4 cup unbleached flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
Stir these ingredients around with your fingers.
In a separate bowl, combine:
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup milk
2 Tablespoons olive oil or melted bacon fat or melted butter
Whisk until smooth. Then pour into the dry ingredients bowl and stir gently until all ingredients are moistened. To the bowl, add the roasted corn and chilies, along with:
1 cup red onion, diced
1 cup queso fresco crumbles, or other crumbly cheese like feta, or even sharp cheddar or pepper jack cheese (optional)
Stir until combined.
Into the preheated cast iron skillet, add a Tablespoon of canola oil or bacon fat. Rotate the skillet to evenly oil the bottom and side. Pour the batter into the skillet (it will begin to sizzle) and move the skillet into the 400F oven. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F and continue baking another 30-35 minutes until the cornbread is golden on top, the sides have pulled away from the skillet, and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean with no streaky batter.
To bake in a glass or aluminum pan, spray the pan with cooking spray before adding the batter, and bake at 400F for 30-35 minutes.
Let the cornbread cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing. This is a very moist cornbread…the longer you allow it to rest, the sturdier it will be when sliced.