Friday, May 24, 2013

Ancho Chile & Cheddar Cornbread

If you like your cornbread to be savory rather than sweet, and enjoy a bit of a peppery kick, you need to try this recipe.

The ancho chili peppers deliver that spicy kick along with a subtle earthiness and a darker, more rustic appearance, while the cheddar cheese and yogurt provide richness and tang. And by using nonfat Greek yogurt you keep the overall fat content of this cornbread much lower but without sacrificing texture or flavor.

If you don't have a cast-iron skillet in which to bake my Ancho Chili & Cheddar Cornbread, use a well-greased 9x9x2 baking pan and don't preheat it in the oven.

1 1/2 cups cornmeal (not self-rising)
2 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable, corn or canola oil
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 or 3 dried ancho chilies, roasted & rehydrated*
4 tsp baking powder

Dried Ancho Chiles
Buy dried ancho chilies
*Note: Not sure how to do this? Read my post on how to roast dried peppers, and my post on how to rehydrate and use dried chili peppers.

Use kitchen shears to snip the rehydrated ancho peppers into small pieces, or use a sharp knife to chop. Set aside. Grease a 9" cast iron skillet with butter or bacon fat, place in oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Beat together the eggs and oil in another bowl, then stir in the yogurt, corn and chopped ancho peppers and until thoroughly combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to thoroughly combine -- a wooden spoon works well for this. Fold in the cheese into this batter, then sprinkle in the baking powder and stir until mixed into the batter. Remove hot greased skillet from oven and immediately transfer the batter into the skillet, using a spatula to spread evenly.  Bake at 400°F until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

Zestfully yours,

PS:  If you enjoy the earthy-sweet, mellow and mildly spicy flavor of ancho chile peppers -- which are dried poblanos -- check out Dave's Gourmet Ancho Powder, made from premium ground ancho chilies. It's currently on sale at the Carolina Sauces online store.

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