Green Chile Corn Bread
I love corn bread stuffing at Thanksgiving. Sometimes I skip the turkey all together and just make a pan or two of stuffing. In Texas you can usually buy cornbread at the store for stuffing, but up here in Massachusetts cornbread is more like "corn cake" - much too sweet and delicate for stuffing. I make my own cornbread a day or two in advance. My cornbread is dense and a little dry (so it stands up when soaked in honey, chili, or chicken broth for stuffing), has a slightly gritty texture, and is not sweet. This is what I like.
Here is the recipe I've used for years:
2 cups cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup milk
2 tb oil
two pinches salt!
green chiles, rotel, jalapenos, green onion, cheese, canned corn, bacon, etc
Mix ingredients. Pour into cast iron or 8x8 glass pan. Cook at 450 for 20-25 min in a well greased pan.
My favorite affordable corn meal is the Hodgson Mill but Mom hasn't mailed me a bag in a while and I was running low. I grabbed the bag of Arrowhead Mills to make up the difference. There are also some fancy local or artisanal corn meals out there, which I'm sure are delicious, but I'd go broke making a big pan of cornbread.
I prefer yellow cornmeal with a very gritty texture. The Hodgson Mill (first pic) has lots of corn bits while the Arrowhead Mills (second pic) is much finer with only a few gritty bits. For this batch of bread I mixed the two.
Mix ingredients, add a small can of green chiles.
After milk is added the batter should be very loose, almost soupy.
I happened to have a cast iron pan full of delicious grease leftover from browning the sausage for the stuffing. You could also use bacon grease or vegetable oil. Pre heat the pan on the stove or in your oven so the oil is very hot. The batter should sizzle as you pour it in and the oil will start to fry the edges.
Put the pan in the 450 degree oven for 20-25 min. Check with a tooth pick in the center to see if it is done. The bread will pull away from the pan edges. Browning is a good thing.
I'm saving this cornbread for stuffing, but I did enjoy a sample. Southern cornbread is usually eaten with butter and honey, but I couldn't find the honey and used maple syrup. It went nicely with the green chiles.
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