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Chipotle Cheddar Cornbread

Fall and Winter typically call for large pots of chili and soups. Large pots of chili and soups call for a great cornbread.

Cheddar Cornbread made in a Cast Iron Pan
Chipotle Cheddar Cornbread



The challenge with most of the cornbread mixes is that tend to produce a dry finished product.  After you've spent all this hard work on a great pot of chili, do you really want to serve a crumbly bread that one has to lather up with butter and honey to be flavorful?  Let's look at an alternative that's about as easy as the $2 Jiffy cornbread box.

Cast Iron Cornbread

Who doesn't want a nice crispy exterior?  Using either cupcake tins or a cake pan is fairly common, but they just don't give cornbread that crispy outer crust.  Here's where your trusty cast iron pan comes in.  Start by preheating it with your oven so that it's super hot when you pour in the batter.

How to Make Moist Cornbread

After looking at many other self-described moist cornbread recipes, I noticed a common theme of creamed corn.  This brings in some moisture, and more delicious corny flavor.  You can use either a small can of creamed corn here...or make your own.  The last time I made this recipe I realized I forgot to buy the creamed corn, but also discovered it's pretty easy to make on your own.

In a small saucepan, start with a basic roux by melting 1 tablespoon of butter and slowly whisking in 1 tablespoon of flour.  Let this cook over medium-low heat for about 1 minute and then slowly whisk in 1 cup of whole milk.  Bring the milk to a simmer for about 3 minutes.  Once it has thickened, add it 1 cup of corn kernels.  Be sure to season as you go.  That's it....a super easy creamed corn recipe.

Adding in More Flavor

The last piece of the puzzle I wanted to solve was flavor.  I love a good corn flavor, but there are some complementary flavors that will really amp up this recipe.  Cheddar is a good start, but chipotle peppers really finish it nicely.  I prefer buying them dried (Whole Foods bulk section) and reconstituting them with hot water.  If you can't find them dried, canned chipotle peppers work just as well.

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Chipotle Cheddar Cornbread Recipe
A moist and delicious cornbread cooked in a cast iron skillet
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 cup
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Buttermilk (or whole milk, or even almond milk)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 small can Creamed Corn (or the homemade version from above)
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 chopped chipotle (or jalapeno) pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven (with the cast iron pan inside) to 425 degrees
  2. Combine the first four dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk together
  3. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the 2 eggs and whisk in the buttermilk, honey and creamed corn. Finally, whisk in the corn, cheddar and pepper
  4. Lightly grease the hot pan with butter and pour in the batter. Cook for 25 minutes. You'll know it's done when it doesn't jiggle in the middle