Vegetarian Friday: Southwestern cornbread

Mom's cornbread turns out lighter than mine. That's because she generally uses white cornmeal instead of yellow, while I lace mine with plenty of cumin and chili powder.
Mom’s cornbread turns out lighter than mine. That’s because I use yellow cornmeal instead of white and lace my batter with taco seasoning.

I’m posting this recipe mostly because today was sort of drizzly and chilly and a bowl of chili and cornbread sounded good, but it also occurred to me that some of you might be making homemade cornbread stuffing for Thanksgiving, and a good cornbread recipe would come in handy. This is based on my mom’s cornbread recipe; the spicy additions are mine.

If you’re making cornbread to enjoy with beans or chili, use this recipe as-is. If you’re making cornbread to use in your turkey stuffing, you should probably leave out the taco seasoning and green chile. If you double the recipe, don’t use two eggs; just swap the small one for a large one.

Smear plenty of butter on there. Now is not the time to be responsible about your fat intake.
Smear plenty of butter on there. Now is not the time to be responsible about your fat intake.

Ingredients
3/4 c. cornmeal
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried minced onions
1 tbsp. taco seasoning (find my recipe here)
1 small egg
3/4 c. buttermilk
1 roasted green chile, chopped (OK to use canned, but frozen or freshly roasted will taste better)
1/2 tbsp. shortening or butter

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Melt shortening in a small iron skillet, coating sides and bottom evenly. Mix other ingredients in order. I stir the dry ingredients every time I add something, taking care to break up any clumps in the baking powder or soda, and then I stir in the eggs and buttermilk before adding the melted shortening from the skillet. (Mom’s instructions are slightly different, but I’m always afraid the hot butter will start to cook the egg if I don’t mix the batter before I add it.)

Pour into hot skillet and bake 15 to 20 minutes. (If you double the recipe, use a bigger skillet and bake for 25 minutes.) It’s ready when a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let cornbread cool in skillet. (Or, if you’re me, cut out a slice while it’s hot and burn the snot out of your fingers trying to put butter on it because you can’t be bothered to wait until it cools.)

Enjoy!

Emily

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