Sunday, September 6, 2009

Creating a Tasty Cornbread

I have wanted to try my hand at cornbread for awhile now. Every time I venture up to Napa Valley and have lunch at the Rutherford Grill I am reminded of how great cornbread can be. Of course theirs is full of fat, cheese, wheat flour (which I shouldn't have)yummy grilled green chili peppers, and served in an iron skillet. After my last meal there I searched the internet hoping they might have a recipe published somewhere. All I found were other people like me, hoping to find it as well, but coming up with nothing. So I did what I usually do when wanting to try a new recipe.... I did a search for cornbread on the internet, read through recipes on a variety of websites, printed out the three best looking ones and then got to work in the kitchen.

The first recipe I tried was from "" for cheesy-jalapeno-cornbread. That is the tray above to the right. It browned beautifully and was nice and crusty on the edges. I created a double batch and left out some of the ingredients as I did not have them on hand (and the author did not include them in the instructions). It took twice the time to cook as in their recipe (partly because I made such a large batch).

Then I tried a recipe for buttermilk cornbread from "" under southern food. That is the tray on the left in the picture above. It came out a lot paler than the first. After tasting both I decided the first recipe tasted much better so I then made a third batch using the first recipe again.

In all the trial batches I left out the wheat flour as I cannot eat it and I wouldnt be able to evaluate the recipes for flavor if I used it. The cornbread comes out more crumbly without wheat flour, but I could still get a good sense of the flavor without it and then decide how to proceed from there.

Here is what I used:

Cheesy, Roasted Green Chili Cornbread

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup corn flour (masa harina)
1/4 cup brown rice flour

1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter room temperature
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup buttermilk, or 1 cup heavy cream or milk and 1/4 cup liquid from canned corn if using
3 tbsp sour cream
1 can roasted green chilis, 4oz
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar (pepperjack could be good here too)
1 cup fresh cooked corn, or canned corn


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Lightly grease a brownie size pan, and line with parchment paper if you have it.

3. Combine all dry ingredients from cornmeal to the salt in a large bowl. Stir to mix well.

4. Cut butter into small pieces and add to the cornmeal mixture, stir. (Here is where I had some trouble with the original recipe. The pieces of butter were way too big and created pockets when baked. I let my butter get really soft so it mushed and melted into the batter as I was mixing it before it even got to the oven).

5. In a small bowl whip eggs then blend in milk, sour cream, and chilis. Add wet mixture to the dry and stir to mix. Fold in cheese and corn.

6. Pour into prepared pan and bake until top is golden and the middle no longer jiggles, about 25 minutes. Rotate pan mid way.

Let cool and then cut and serve.

This recipe is gluten free and does crumble a little. It is best a day old, refrigerated overnight which helps all the components to gell together. Bring it out the next day and warm it in the oven at 250 degrees for 15 minutes.

I also made a dairy free version of this recipe for a group that was vegan (but they still ate eggs). I used Earth Balance margarine instead of butter, soy milk instead of buttermilk and I just left out the sour cream and cheese. This one needed a lot more of the green chilis to add flavor and it did not need to bake as long. Still came out great!

I would like to add a little heat to this bread next time and will try using some fresh or canned jalapenos.


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Michelle said...

I love cornbread, too. I tend to not cook it with cheese, but instead add a cup of ground flax seed to the mix. It makes the cornbread really moist. Thanks for all the yummy recipes!

Andrea said...

Michelle, I love the flax idea. I have been doing a lot of baking with flax lately to replace eggs and the product always comes out great. I just soak the ground flax in some warm water while I am mixing the rest of the ingredients. Thanks for visiting!