People who like cornbread are an opinionated sort. Some insist on adding sugar while others think that’s downright criminal. There are white cornmeal champions, those who favor yellow, and a firm camp that flies the flag for blue cornmeal. Don’t even get folks started on loaf pans versus corn stick molds or cast iron skillets versus muffin tins.
But like a lot of things, there’s no right or wrong answer, but instead a whole lot of personal taste. And that’s okay. So here’s how we do it at Sichler Farms. For starters, we’re in the cast iron camp. We like to heat a frying pan up, add butter to coat the pan and then pour in the batter. It makes the edges super crisp and really delicious.
Next, we’re a no-sugar group. Instead, we melt some red chile jelly (you’ll find it on our shelves) and brush that over the top. And of course, red chile powder is on our ingredient list. Not only does it add heat but also gives our corn bread a lovely orangey-red hue.
Pecans for some crunch, buttermilk (see the note below) and sour cream for a bit of richness and there you go: Sichler Farms red chile & pecan cornbread. Feel free to add your own spin but we think you’ll be a fan, no matter what camp you’re in.
½ cup/4 oz. unsalted butter + 1 Tbsp./1/2 oz. unsalted butter
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup sour cream
14 oz. buttermilk*
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. yellow cornmeal
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cup chopped pecans, toasted
2 Tbsp. Santa Fe Seasons Red Chile Jelly
*If you don’t have buttermilk, not to worry! Substitute whole milk, replacing 1½ tablespoons with white vinegar or lemon juice.
Preheat oven to 350ºF
Equipment: 12” cast iron skillet.
Melt the ½ cup of butter, reserving the additional tablespoon to grease the skillet. Let the butter cool slightly before combining with the eggs in a mixing bowl. Stir in the sour cream and buttermilk, add the red chile powder and cornmeal and stir to combine. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and soda and gently fold into the batter. Add the chopped pecans.
Place a 12” cast iron skillet in the oven and heat for a few minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the hot skillet. It should sizzle. Tip the pan so the butter coats the bottom and up the sides. Immediately pour in the batter and place in the hot oven.
Cook for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cornbread comes out clean. The bread should be coming away slightly from the pan and the top may crack and look crispy. Place the skillet on a wire rack. Heat the jelly either in a saucepan or microwave (about 20 seconds) and then brush the melted jelly over the top of the cornbread. Allow the cornbread to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Any leftovers are superb made into croutons or crumbled and used as bread crumbs (great in your Thanksgiving stuffing).