Green Chile Cornbread
Cornbread is a staple of American home cooking — so naturally, everyone and their grandma has a different way of making it. Us? We’re partial to classic, Southern-style cornbread. It’s made with very little sugar, more cornmeal than flour, and a splash of buttermilk, so it’s super moist, coarse and crumbly, and barely sweet. And because it’s baked in a buttered cast iron skillet, it gets a perfectly crispy, golden brown crust. For this version, we also added our favorite late-summer crops: fresh sweet corn and green chile peppers.
Does cornbread need to be made with fresh corn? No. Should it be made with fresh corn? After eating a slice of this one, we say yes. The almost-juicy, honey-like sweetness of the cooked kernels enhances the starchy, somewhat subdued flavor of the cornmeal — by which we mean, it turns good cornbread into exceptional cornbread. We just make sure to chop it up super fine so it doesn’t alter that wonderfully light, crumbly texture.
As for the chiles, our go-to is Anaheim peppers because, when roasted, they get a nice, subtly sweet char — and because their heat is mild enough for the kiddos. But, if we’re making this bread anytime in August or September, we’re definitely going to use crisp, smoky Hatch chiles. We love how you can customize the kick of the cornbread since Hatches range anywhere from mild to extra hot. Whichever pepper you stir in, it’ll add the perfect amount of vegetal spice to balance out the natural sweetness of the corn.
We could eat an unaltered hunk of this bread with a tall, cold glass of milk and be perfectly content. But add butter, honey, and some flake salt, and it’s utterly over the top. And like any quick bread, this cornbread is super easy to throw together. We’d whip it up as a last-minute side for a dinner of rich, saucy short ribs, and then eat the leftovers with salsa-drenched scrambled eggs the next morning. Need a snack to get you through the homestretch of the workday? Hello, green chile cornbread!
Our tip: canned chiles will also work for this recipe if you’re in a pinch — just keep in mind that the chile flavor will be less pronounced.
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cups medium- or fine-ground cornmeal
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
2 large Gelson’s eggs, room temperature
1 ¼ cups buttermilk, room temperature
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus 1 Tbsp for greasing pan
1 cup cooked corn kernels, rough chopped
3 roasted Hatch or Anaheim chiles, diced small (about ½ cup)
Butter, honey, and flake salt, for serving
Place a 10” cast iron skillet in the oven and preheat to 375°.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter until combined. Mix in the corn and roasted chiles.
Whisk the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
Remove the hot skillet from the oven. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the skillet, swirling to coat the bottom and sides of the pan.
Pour the batter into the skillet, smooth the top, and return it to the oven. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden on the top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and let cool almost completely before serving. Serve with butter, honey, and flake salt.