Being from the UK cornbread isn’t something I’m very familiar with. I think the first time I had it was about five years ago on a business trip to the US. Since then I’ve probably had it less than five times, although I did make some cornbread muffins for the Superbowl at the start of the year.
So given my novice status with cornbread I’m not looking for anything complicated this month. Also I don’t want to be too unhealthy, so I’m avoiding the deep-fried variants. All I’m looking for is a simple baked cornbread that will go well with the Texas chilli Soph has made in the slow cooker.
So I typed ‘mexican sourdough cornbread’ into Google and look what it pulled up: a newspaper recipe from The Pittsburgh Press, September 25th, 1982! Now I’m sure those of you from the US can argue about whether Pittsburgh knows anything about cornbread… but from this side of the pond I’m chalking this up as ‘authentic US recipe’ :)
I’ll re-write the recipe here as the newsprint isn’t easy to read:
Mexican Sourdough Corn Bread
- 1 cup sourdough starter (refreshed)
- 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (UK bicarbonate of soda)
- 1 cup canned cream-style or whole kernel corn
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 4oz can diced green chilies (UK jar of jalapeños)
- 1/4 cup diced pimento (optional) (UK cherry peppers)
Mix together sourdough starter, cornmeal, milk, eggs & sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir in melted butter, salt, soda, corn, onion, cheese, chilies and pimento. Pour into 12-by-7 inch greased baking dish and bake at 400F for 40-45 minutes. Makes 6 servings.
I start by gathering the last of the corn from the garden: misshapen and half-not-grown cobs.
It’s not a whole cans worth, so we’ll add a medium size can of corn to it.
To make the batter in the authentic way I’m
not measuring properly using cups to measure. So time to get mise en place.
The recipe says just bake in the oven, but I’ve watched enough America’s Test Kitchen to know I should start in a skillet then transfer to the oven. Unfortunately our cast iron skillet has a wooden handle, so I’m using our non-stick skillet, which should at least make it easy to remove.
Then we thought we should soften the onions before baking them. We also needed to grease the pan for the cornbread. Thankfully we have a sign above the kitchen door to help us in situations like this.
So we fried up the onions with some bacon (the rest of which will be going on rye sourdough waffles for tomorrow’s breakfast!).
Once the onions had softened I mixed up the batter, including the bacon and onions after a brief cooling.
This gets poured into the hot skillet.
Then it’s into the oven at 180C fan for 40 minutes before checking (turning half way through).
And 40 minutes was all it took. After cooling in the pan it was time to cut into it.
Now for the Texas chilli and some guacamole…
Everything was delicious! The cornbread was a little fall-apart-y, probably due to all the corn and peppers in it. So dipping was a bit of an issue, but it mixed into the chilli well!
Check out the other sourdough cornbreads: