As promised yesterday, here is the recipe for the cornbread I made to go along with our Mole Ocho Chili last weekend. Seth told me his mom used to make a pretty mean cornbread recipe when he was younger, so I knew the recipe I came up with was going to have to be pretty darn good. With so much at stake, I felt I could not face this challenge alone, so I turned to The Wench for a little help.
The verdict? He told me it's the best cornbread he's ever had. I'd have to say I agree. Although, I have to admit that I'm a little nervous saying that, because I know a lot of variations exist when it comes to cornbread (Northern style tends to be sweetened with sugar, while Southern style generally does not contain any sugar) and some people take those variations very seriously. So, if you're a true Southerner, please do not shudder at the fact that this recipe contains sugar -- I promise it's not that sweet. And give me a break, I am from Michigan, after all.
And just in case you needed further evidence that everything really is better with beer, throw some in your next batch of cornbread (even if it's not this recipe), and I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Like the Celis Raspberry Pancakes I made back in July last year, the beer gives the cornbread a perfectly light, fluffy texture, while adding just a perfect amount of tang.
For this recipe, you will need:
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canned corn kernels, drained (optional)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Short's Pandemonium Pale Ale
1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.
Combine the dry ingredients: flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and beer.
With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don’t overmix! Add the corn, if desired.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares.
Serve with remaining beer and a batch of Mole Ocho Chili!