I know you think I'm lacking a bit of creativity here. Green Chile cornbread, ORIGINAL, Jess. But what if I told you I had NEVER made cornbread before? AND, what if I told you I've had multiple people rave about this recipe? Yep, that's right. RAVE REVIEWS. I adapted my Grandma's go-to Aunt Jemima cornbread recipe. As I adapted, I had a few goals in mind.
Goal #1: That gorgeous, rustic crack on top of the bread.
Goal #2: Not too crumbly. Second, despite the fact that I really wanted the crack on top, I didn't want that to mean dry cornbread. One note on making cornbread that I've discovered is, don't be afraid to add a little to the wet ingredients if necessary. I added the wet to the dry and mixed and ended up with a little bit of a crumbly dough. You want it to all be sticking together. I find cornbread needs to be a whole lot more wet than, say, a normal bread dough. The nature of cornmeal is that it soaks the liquid up REALLY quickly. I would start with 1 cup, as directed, and then add a couple splashes here or there if you need it.
Goal #3: Honey instead of refined sugar. This may not necessarily be a whole lot healthier, but it sure does make me feel better. Also, in approaching this cornbread, I knew I didn't want it TOO sweet. Throughout my research, though, I've found that people are a little bit hardcore about the sweetness of this classic. Disclaimer: If you want it sweeter, MAKE IT SWEETER.
Goal #4: Good green Chile flavor. Okay, now this one is fairly straight-forward, especially when you have good Hatch green chile. The challenge in achieving this goal was getting the amount right. Too much chile would end up tasting a little bit like a cornmeal-y chile relleno, but too little would simply taste like cornbread. If I were to make this again, I might also try adding some green chile liquid to the batter, just to make sure the flavor is running all through, instead of hiding only in the bits of chile.
Goal #5: Texture interest. In order for a dish to be texture-interesting, you really just need a bit of contrast. The slightly crunchy outer layer contrasted with the moist inner layer was a start, but I just wanted a little more. The green chile bits add a bit more interest, but those are mostly little flavor packets. I chose to add corn kernels in an effort to get a little more contrast to the moisture on the inside.
How about we recap a bit, shall we?
- Goal #1: That gorgeous, rustic crack on top of the bread. SOLUTION: PRAYER.
- Goal #2: Not too crumbly. SOLUTION: A couple splashes of milk, if necessary.
- Goal #3: Honey instead of refined sugar. SOLUTION: Just use honey instead of sugar. Surprisingly simple!
- Goal #4: Good green chile flavor. SOLUTION: 3/4 cup green chile, possibly some green chile liquid.
- Goal #5: Texture interest. SOLUTION: Add corn kernels (frozen or fresh will work).
The result of all these was a pretty darn delicious batch of green chile cornbread. Thanks for the recipe, Grandma!