Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Rosie Makes Salsa Brava's Green Chile Cornbread.

When Mr. Hawthorne and I were on our trip, we stopped in Flagstaff, Arizona, at Salsa Brava restaurant. They had a salsa bar with different types of salsa - all good. I had the Baja Taco and Mr. Hawthorne had a pork carnita - both excellent. I ended up buying their cookbook, Salsa Brava Cocina - Smokin' Salsa and Other Chile Inspired Recipes and I've been drooling ever since over the pictures. Today I'm making their Green Chile Cornbread, one of their most requested side dishes, with a few adjustments. First, let me say I've never cared for a sweet cornbread, and this one called for a whole cup of sugar. I thought that was too much, but added the cup anyway. With hindsight, if you like a sweet cornbread, by all means use the whole cup. For my tastes, I think 1/4 cup would be plenty. Or actually none. I prefer no sugar in my cornbread thankyouverymuch.
Cornbread Ingredients: 1 cup yellow corn meal 1 cup flour 1 cup sugar 1 TB baking powder 1/2 tsp salt 3/4 cup milk 2 eggs 6 TB melted butter 1 small can green chiles 1 small can yellow corn, drained Mix first 5 ingredients until well combined. Add the milk and eggs, mixing with a wooden spoon until there are no clumps. Add the melted butter, green chiles, and corn. Their instructions call for 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven, or until a knife inserted into the bread comes out clean. I checked the cornbread after 20 minutes and it was still liquid. Mine took 60 minutes. Here's the process: First, I melted some butter in my skillet ...
... poured in the corn ...
... and added a little sugar.
Keep cooking until caramelized.
Next time you want corn as a side dish, you might want to try this. Maybe caramelize some onions along with the corn. Perhaps a dusting of cumin. Or fresh cilantro.
One cup yellow corn meal and one cup flour.
One cup sugar. I am very apprehensive about this much sugar.
Tablespoon of baking powder.
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the 3/4 cup of milk, I used half each of skim and heavy cream.
Mix eggs ...
... and add to meal mixture.
Mix to combine.
Add in butter.
Stir to combine.
Add in corn ...
... and chiles, which had flavor, but no heat.
So Mr. Hawthorne de-seeded and de-ribbed a jalapeno and minced it.
Add jalapeno to batter.
Here's a trick I use to get a nice crusty corn bread. Oil an 8" iron skillet and heat it up in the oven while you're preheating it to 375 degrees. Pour the batter into the hot skillet.
Salsa Brava Cocina says to use an 8-inch pan and bake for 20 minutes. This was nowhere near done at the 20-minute mark, and I had to continue baking for 40 more minutes, checking every ten, for an hour, total bake time.
Halfway through, Mr. Hawthorne brushed the top with melted butter.
Pretty cornbread.
Nice texture. Good flavor. Browned crust, bottom, and sides. Sweet. Next time, I'm cutting the sugar to 1/4 cup and doubling the salt to 1 teaspoon. Mr. Hawthorne really liked this. Too sweet for my tastes, but still quite good. Now here's a tip for cornbread moreovers.
For breakfast the next morning, I melted some butter in my skillet ...
... and sauteed cornbread slices with some smoked sausage.
Now this is good.


Anonymous said...

That looks absolutely wonderful! Looks like a keeper recipe to me. I agree with you about the sugar, though. When I make it, I will use less sugar and more salt per your suggestion. And I am buying an 8 inch cast iron skillet ASAP.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

NMOAC, be sure you read the directions for seasoning your cast iron skillet.

And never store the cornbread in the skillet in the fridge. Put it in something else. There's an unfortunate reaction if you leave the cornbread in the iron.

Rocquie said...

Rosie, that cornbread looks delicious and I especially love the breakfast you made with it.

But I still remember a cornbread post from a while back. You topped your cornbread batter with all kinds of things--chopped onions, olives, peppers, tomatoes, cheese, I really don't remember what all, but I thought that was the most brilliant cornbread I've ever seen.

zzzadig said...

A shout out from the South. Sugar not needed unless a just a flavor enhancing pinch. White cornmeal, 400 degrees, and you be right, always preheat the skillet.