What better filler is there to complement a BBQ than cornbread? It’s easy, tasty, and matches perfectly with anything you eat without utensils. Depending on where you grew up the type of cornbread you were exposed to may vary. I’m a regional mutt so I had a taste of both the sweeter, cakelike Northern variation as well as the crumbly, salty Southern style. And I really dig on both when done well.
Lately I’ve been trying recreate a version I have fond memories of growing up. And I’ve failed.. a lot.. each failure closer and more tasty to what I’ve been shooting for but fail none-the-less. Oh don’t get me wrong, as a result of my missteps I can make some damn tasty cornbread, but that adored variation I’m secretly terrified was just Jiffy mix is a mystical and allusive bitch.
Creating a moist, delicate texture as well as having that corny flavor while balancing sweet, salty and savory tastes is worth a few dozen more tries. Until I’ve perfected this seemingly impossible cornbread, enjoy one of my favorite “southwest style” cornbread that’s just brilliant in a cast iron skillet.
This recipe is pretty simple but there’s a little multitasking. I’ll try to just take it step by step. Also, cast iron skillet is by far the best, but a 12×12 cooking sheet works perfectly well if you don’t have the skillet.
2 cups flour
2 cups stone ground cornmeal
2/3 cup honey
1 1/2 milk
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp salt
3 chorizos (or uncooked spicey sausage)
1 stick unsalted butter
Kitchen Soundtrack: Weezer – Blue Album
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees with the cast iron skillet inside. Yes, inside. You want the skillet to be hot when you add the cornmeal mix.
Be sure you pick up some uncooked chorizo/sausages so you can peel the casings off.
Into a medium-hot pan and break the larger pieces into bite sized chunks as it cooks. Depending on the sausages, you’ll have some fat rendered. Pour all but the last couple of tablespoons out when just cooked through. Set aside.
While the sausages are cooking, prep up your dry ingredients and cayenne in a large bowl.
In another bowl mix the eggs, milk and honey. Add to dry stuff and mix thoroughly.
Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and place on stove top. Add whole stick of butter cut into smaller pieces to melt faster. This does two things: 1) melts your butter if you’re like me and don’t have a microwave 2) give you a nice coat on your pan so the cornbread won’t stick while baking.
Prep your jalapenos discarding the seeds and white insides and add to the cooled, crumbled chorizo.
Pour in melted butter, chorizo/pepper mix and stir until well combined.
Place in lower third of your oven at 400 degrees and cook 30-35 minutes. Remove skillet and let it continue to cook and form the crust to your cornbread. You can test that it’s ready by sticking a toothpick inside and if it comes out clean you’re good.
One other note: if you eat it immediately the cornbread will be really moist and soft. Letting it sit out for a few hours will dry it out considerably. It’s up to you which version you’d like to serve. Both are excellent and has a great kick!