Chipotle Cheddar Corn Bread

I’m always on the lookout for interesting variations on the corn bread theme, and even more so when leaves turn glorious shades of russet and crimson and nights turn cool. I LOVE corn bread–especially Aunt Elfred’s Corn Bread, which is high, light, and tender, with the requisite depth of cornmeal flavor and  tantalizing aroma.

Whenever I see an interesting corn bread recipe, I don’t bother with the basic formula, as I’m confident that no corn bread formula (and I’ve tested a gazillion) is better than Aunt Elfred’s.

Thus, as I was perusing a stack of cookbooks the other evening and ran into a little gem from The Beerbistro Cookbook, titled Farmhouse Cheddar Biscuits, rather than running to the kitchen to test the recipe, I simply noted these ingredients: buttermilk, cheddar cheese, chipotle chile, and green onion. When I did get around to testing the concept, I added garlic.

The result was predictably wonderful. Even with a full load of cheese, the corn bread is suprisingly light.

Note   Unfortunately, my mini popover pans are in Portland (without me), so I used a mini cheesecake pan instead. A standard muffin pan might have been a better choice.

Chipotle Cheddar Corn Bread

This cornbread is almost a meal, with its generous quantity of cheddar cheese and other savory elements. And although I do not usually serve corn bread with honey, for some reason this corn bread cries out for it. I even found myself wishing for Honey Butter, which is simple enough to whip up if the mood strikes you.

1½ cups King Arthur unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt

½ cup unsalted butter, melted and warm, not hot (vegetable oil also works well here if you prefer)
½ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
½ cup yellow cornmeal

2 cups shredded, aged cheddar (6 ounces)
½ cup minced green onion
1-2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, minced (use disposable gloves!)
1 clove garlic, peeled, and pressed or minced

Garnish
unsalted butter
warm honey

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Reserve.
  2. In another medium mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter, sugar, eggs, buttermilk, and cornmeal until thoroughly blended.
  3. Add the flour mixture, grated cheese, green onions, chipotle chile, and garlic. Fold gently until just combined. The batter will still be a little lumpy.
  4. Pour into a lightly greased 9- by 9-inch square metal baking pan or fill 12-16 indents of a mini popover or muffin pan about three-quarters full each (add an inch or so of water to any empty indents). 
  5. Bake at 400°, in the upper third of the oven, for 30-35 minutes for the square baking pan or about 20-22 minutes for the popover or muffin pan. When done, the cornbread will be lightly browned on top and will spring back when touched in the center.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on a wire rack. This corn bread is best served warm, almost right out of the oven.
  7. Cut into squares or remove from the popover or muffin pan and serve warm with butter and honey if desired.

Makes nine, 3-inch squares or 12-16 mini popovers or standard muffins.

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Comments

  1. orchidgirl says

    I made these today and they were excellent. Hubbie said best cornbread he had ever tasted. I took the rest to work and served them with butter and honey and my whole team loved them. Next time I woud maybe bump the salt to 3/4 of a teaspoon. Other than that, perfect as is. BTW, I used melted butter rather than oil, and 1 and a half chipotles. Thanks for the recipe. YUM!

  2. says

    I just wanted to say that I made these today and they are fantastic. Thanks for the great recipe! My version was corn/feta since that’s what I had around.

    • Susan S. Bradley says

      Feast, I love your idea of black beans in the cornbread. Will have to try that. Hopping over to check out your Pumpkin Ricotta Lasagne. Sounds marvelous!

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