I won an award at a neighborhood cornbread bake-off today. The whole thing was just a lot of fun…a bunch of neighbors getting together to eat good food, enjoy a crisp fall day outside, and compete over…cornbread! It’s apparently a 9-year tradition that we just got in on after meeting some local artists (one is the head judge and prize maker and the other a baker who had a necklace full of prizes and whom I edged out by a coin toss). The judging was in 2 categories “traditional” (mine had too many new-fangled ingredients to make it in this category) and “peoples choice”, where everyone votes…by dropping a jelly bean on top of the plate they like. There were 15 cornbreads in contention. Until the last second, mine had 8 jellybeans and the longtime winner had 9. Then someone evened it out (yay), and to break the tie, we did a coin toss, that I just happened to win. so…I won a very nice medal!
A few friends have asked for this recipe..so here it is. I started with this base recipe (yes it is a Paula Dean recipe) and made some modifications and additions It’s actually not as bad as some Paula Dean recipes–and actually had less fat than some recipes I saw. I was looking for a moist recipe…that was one of my key criteria. I hate dry cornbread.
- 1 Cup cornmeal
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 T honey (*replaced sugar in Paula’s recipe with honey and it wasn’t sweet enough so I used a little more)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1/2 cup milk (** the yogurt and milk are substitutes for butter milk)
- 6 Tablespoons melted butter (about 1/3 cup)
- 1 jalapeno pepper diced small and finely
- 1 dried ancho chili (you want one that is still moist–like a pruny sun dried tomato)
- 3/4 sweet onion
- 2 oz grated cheddar cheese (the sharper the better, imho)
Pre-heat your oven to 425
The mix ins: Slice the onion into thin strips and dice. Caremelize it with a little olive oil. (Cover it, cook it over medium heat. stir occasionally). Dice the chillis finely (you want it to blend in).
Melt the butter in the microwave. Pour it into a mixing bowl. Add the 2 eggs, baking soda, baking powder, honey, yogurt and milk. Whisk until fully incorporated and fluffy. Add the flours and salt. Stir well until everything is well mixed. Add in the mix-ins.
Grease your pan with some oil. ( i used a round pyrex pie plate). Pour in your batter and bake on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes. Test with a knife and remove when the knife comes out clean.
Easy, peasy, right? it’s good too. Moist, flavorful…