In advance of the Super Bowl, I made chili. It has become a tradition for me to make the multi-bean, chipotle chili (recipe) every year, whether I stay home or take it on the road. This year, I wanted to jazz it up with something I had never made before: skillet cornbread.
There is a restaurant in downtown Chicago that is the inspiration for this loaded cornbread. Right after college, I met a networking contact in the loop and he introduced me to this fantastic cornbread. There were peppers and cheese in the otherwise cake-like cornbread.
So my aim was to make it happen in my kitchen all these years later. Firstly, buy a cast iron skillet. In terms of bang for your bucks, it’ll be the best $20-30 you spend in your kitchen. Luckily for me, my bestie bought me mine. (It’s a totally natural love affair I have with the indestructible pan.)
My previous experience with cornbread was making it from the little blue and white Jiffy boxes. They are super convenient and get the job done. If you want to take your cooking up a level from true basic, it isn’t any more difficult than adding the contents to the powder in those boxes. The main difference is you’ll need a few ingredients, namely cornmeal. Cornmeal can be used for more than just cornbread. It can also be used when making homemade pizza to slide the pie off of the pizza peel. It can also be used with flour to bread onion rings or other delicious fried foods.
Enough words. Let’s get to the main event.
LOADED SKILLET CORNBREAD
I started with some recipes I saw online for scratch cornbread and added a few extra ingredients to up the flavors. Add all the dry ingredients together. Then all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. You will use a spatula or big spoon to mix the two together. You don’t need to go crazy when mixing these. As soon as the dry stuffs are no longer distinguishable from the wet, you’re done.
1 cup Yellow Cornmeal
1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 cup Buttermilk (You don’t have buttermilk. I get it. Just add a tablespoon of vinegar to 1 cup of regular milk.)
1/2 cup Milk
1 whole Egg
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 cup Butter
2 Tablespoons Shortening or Butter
Add these after the cornbread batter is combined and mix:
1 can green chiles
1/2 cup shredded chedder or pepperjack
1/4 cup diced onion
1 teaspoon chipotle pepper and adobe sauce
1-2 cloves diced garlic
Heat your cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once sizzlin’ hot, add the shortening or butter to the pan and coat the bottom. Pour in the cornbread mixture and cook on the stove for a few minutes. Then place into the 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
Enjoy this treat. It’ll be your new go to.