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Loaded Cornbread

There are as many variations of basic cornbread recipes as there are of chili. Bread-like or souffle-like. Sweetened with honey, sugar, or even maple syrup. Moistened with oil or butter. Baked in a muffin tin, baking pan, or cast-iron skillet. Made with just cornmeal or in conjunction with flour… etc.

And then there are the recipes that call for additional ingredients. Bacon. Goat cheese. Creamed corn.

Clearly, I decided to go with the latter category of cornbread. Quite literally “loaded” with tasty flavor elements, this cornbread is delicious solo and even better when smothered with your favorite chili.

Minced serrano chili peppers and pepper jack cheese serve up a double kick of spice, sliced green onions add a mellow onion-y flavor, and fresh corn kernels contribute a sweet crunch.

The recipe is versatile, so if any of the above ingredients aren’t to your liking, feel free to either omit them or use a substitution.

Loaded Cornbread

adapted from Mollie Katzen’s The New Moosewood Cookbook

serves 9

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • 2 Tbsp evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from about 2 ears… or can substitute defrosted frozen corn)
  • 1/2 cup grated 50% reduced fat jalapeno cheddar or pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 serrano or jalapeno chile pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat an 8 x 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal through salt.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk through melted butter until well-mixed.
  4. Stir wet ingredients into the dry just until well-combined.
  5. Fold in fresh corn kernels, grated cheese, minced serrano chile, and sliced scallions.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly.
  7. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean.
  8. Let sit for about 5 minutes before cutting into squares and serving. Can also be served at room temperature.

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