So often the two of us here at Chez Grace thrill to the simplest supper fare: A bowl of homemade vegetarian chili, some crudites and a crust of bread. Plenty of times, we’re happy with a ramekin filled with freshly cooked pintos or black beans, plain and simple. Usually, when I’m cooking beans, I’ll stir up a quick cornbread. We have a couple of fave recipes, equally easy to make with stone ground, organic corn meal we keep in the freezer for freshness.
A while back someone mentioned Mexican corn bread. I’d forgotten all about that fatty, cheesy, hamburgery, sausagy dish. Goodness! Years past, I noshed Mexican cornbread with pleasure. Seconds please! Thirds! Those days are long gone. Now we’re eating for health and longevity as much as pleasure and taste. Can I make a cornbread with those southwest flavors we love, one that won’t clog our arteries and raise our blood sugar to dangerous levels?
You bet I can.
A lighter, brighter Mexicali cornbread recipe
This recipe is an adaptation of one I’ve used to make cornbread since the early 70s. That recipe can be found on page 84 of the original 1972 version of Whole Earth Cookbook by Sharon Cadwallader and Judi Ohr. The authors would hardly recognize their recipe, I’ve changed it so much over the years, but mine started with theirs all those decades ago. Thank you Ladies!
The three-year-old grandchild (Almost four now!) helped me measure and whisk the dry and wet ingredients. She’s just beginning to learn knife skills, starting with safety. In fact, she’s almost ready to help me chop peppers–with close supervision. Here’s a slide show of our steps along the way to making this latest batch of cornbread.
Here’s my version, with several added ingredients. Those additions would be the chipotle powder (or jalapeno pepper), the bell peppers and the onion. Omit those and you have my all-time favorite plain cornbread recipe. All the ingredients in my kitchen are organic, but whenever I use corn, I feel it necessary to call out the organic, as a reminder that most of the corn grown in this country today is genetically modified.
Mexicali cornbread recipe
If I were making this for myself, I’d add more chipotle powder and use a jalapeno in the mix, but Sweetheart doesn’t care for that much heat. Do adjust the pepper heat to suit your taste.
- 1 C stone ground organic corn meal
- 1 C stone ground whole wheat flour
- 1/3 C oat bran
- 1 t sea salt
- 2 t baking powder
- 1/4 t chipotle powder OR
- 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 3/4 C chopped red, green, yellow and/or orange bell pepper
- 1/2 C chopped yellow or red onion
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1-1/2 C buttermilk or yogurt (the real stuff, with live cultures and not made with pectin, gelatin or milk solids)
- 1 T honey
- 1/4 C olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425° Fahrenheit (F)
- Butter or grease a 10″ cast iron skillet.* After greasing, preheat the pan with the oven. This gives your corn bread a wonderful crispy exterior.
- In medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients and fold in the peppers and onion.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk or yogurt, honey and olive oil. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet. Fold and stir until just mixed. Remove the cast iron skillet carefully from the oven, if using, and pour the batter into the pan.
- Bake at 425° F for 30 minutes until a wooden skewer comes out clean and top is just beginning to brown. Let rest on cooling rack 5-10 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve hot from the pan.
*Can also use an 8×8 baking pan, but unless it’s cast iron, do not preheat it with the oven.
Serve this bread warm with chili, soup, crunchy salads, even a bowl of freshly cooked beans, steaming hot from the bean pot. Store leftovers, if you have them, covered, in the refrigerator. Reheat in the toaster oven or in a cast-iron skillet brushed lightly with oil.
This is a YayYay’s Kitchen original recipe. Please link back to this page if you base a recipe of your own on this one.
That’s it. That’s my simpler, lower-fat version of the heavy-duty Mexican cornbread. If you try it, let me know if you think you can live without all that sausage, cheese and hamburger, or if you still need the grease.