Cheese and Chile Skillet Cornbread
This not-too-sweet cornbread is the ultimate partner to scrambled eggs and spicy sausage, but it goes equally well with chili and other soups and stews. Gently sweetened with maple syrup and flecked with corn kernels, chunks of mild poblano chiles and bits of sharp cheddar cheese, then baked in a cast-iron skillet, it's a cut above your everyday cornbread.
- 2 poblano chiles
- 1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (7 oz./220 g) yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1⁄2 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1⁄4 cup (2 oz./60 g) unsalted butter
- 3⁄4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) whole milk
- 1⁄4 cup (3 oz./90 g) maple syrup
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup (6 oz./185 g) fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
Preheat a broiler. Place the chiles on a baking sheet and broil, turning occasionally, until the skins are blackened on all sides, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let cool until easy to handle. Peel off the blackened skin. Discard the stem, seeds and ribs, then chop the chiles.
Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).
In a bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
Place the butter in a 10-inch (25-cm) heatproof frying pan, preferably cast iron. Place in the oven until the butter is melted, about 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and pour 2 Tbs. of the melted butter into a large bowl, leaving the remaining butter in the pan and tilting the pan to coat. Add the milk, maple syrup and egg to the butter in the bowl and stir to combine. Pour the milk mixture into the well in the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Fold in the chopped chile, cheese and corn. Spread the batter in the hot pan.
Bake until the cornbread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve hot or warm. Serves 8.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts, by Rick Rodgers (Weldon Owen, 2010).