Why It Works
- Roasting the peppers enhances their sweetness and softens their flesh.
- Preheating the pan and coating it with butter creates a dark crust with a light nutty flavor.
- Using sour cream along with buttermilk increases the mild tanginess and overall flavor of the bread.
- Adding a little oil to the batter results in a more cake-like moistness.
Having just returned from a trip to the Southwest, I had green chiles on my mind and wanted to do a roasted poblano cornbread. While at the market, I thought some added sweetness and color by way of red pepper would be fitting, so picked up one of those too, as well as a bag of frozen corn kernels.
I roasted both the peppers, peeled away the charred skins, and roughly chopped them. I added them in along with a cup of the thawed frozen corn and a little bit of cayenne.
The finished cornbread has a bright confetti look, with red, green, and yellow specks throughout. These add a fruity pepper flavor that meshes well with the corn-heavy base. The whole thing gets a lift from the sweet pockets of corn kernels, while the cayenne lends a mellow heat to each bite.
The base recipe is my Northern-style cornbread. Also consider these variations: maple walnut, orange cranberry, jalapeño, or cheddar bacon scallion.
1 large red bell pepper
1 large poblano pepper
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons melted butter, cooled slightly, plus 1 additional tablespoon for pan
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet on the middle rack of oven and preheat to 425°F (220°C). Roast red bell pepper and poblano over an open flame on a gas stove or grill until skins are completely charred. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit until cooled, 5 to 10 minutes. Peel off charred skins; remove stems and seeds. Finely chop flesh of peppers.
In a medium bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and cayenne pepper. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, buttermilk, eggs, 3 tablespoons melted butter, and canola oil. Pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients and whisk until completely combined. Stir in chopped peppers and corn.
Using pot holders, carefully remove hot pan from oven. Place 1 tablespoon butter in skillet and swirl to completely melt and coat inside of pan. Pour in cornbread batter and place in oven. Bake until skewer inserted into middle of cornbread comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let bread cool in pan for 5 minutes, then carefully turn out to wire rack and let cool an additional 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Reheat any leftover cornbread before serving again.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 6 to 8|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 16g||20%|
|Saturated Fat 7g||34%|
|Total Carbohydrate 45g||16%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||9%|
|Total Sugars 17g|
|Vitamin C 65mg||323%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|