Last weekend we saw the coldest weather we’ve had yet this Fall. Sunday morning dawned bright, thanks to the return of Eastern Standard Time, but cold! 29 degrees! Brrrr. It was definitely a day for something warm and comforting from the kitchen. It didn’t take long to decide that our comfort food for the evening would be a big pot of chili. But I wanted something a little different to go along with it. Something more than crackers, you know? Cornbread is always great with chili, but still I wanted to push it a little further than just a plain old ordinary cornbread. So I got in the kitchen and just started putting together whatever sounded good to mix into cornbread and I wound up with this real winner!
I always make my cornbread with white, fine ground cornmeal. It gives a softer, more dense texture than regular yellow cornmeal and has a very slightly sweeter taste from the white corn. Maybe it’s just because the white cornmeal is what I grew up with, but I really can’t stand that coarse yellow stuff. And I want my cornmeal from one of two mills located in south Georgia (Arnett’s) or north Florida (Hoover’s). Yeah, I’m a cornmeal snob.
This recipe is so simple. You just dump everything together in a bowl, stir it well and pour it into a hot skillet. Thirty minutes later…cheesy chili cornbread!
Put two tablespoons of cooking oil in a cast iron skillet. Put the skillet in the oven and turn the oven on to preheat to 400 degrees.
While the oven preheats, mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir well to combine.
I wanted to show you the cheese that I used in this cornbread. This is without doubt the sharpest cheddar that I’ve ever tasted. It came from Spring Ridge Creamery in Otto, North Carolina. The store is located right beside the highway there on U.S. 441. We take that route occasionally when we travel back and forth to Asheville to see our babies and grandbabies. The creamery is located just steps across the Georgia-North Carolina state line. If you’re ever traveling through that area, slow down and stop. They have some incredible cheeses, old-fashioned farm milk with cream on top, freshly made butter and homemade ice cream. It’s worth a 10 minute stop for sure! And the extra sharp cheese really gave a nice kick to the cornbread.
When the oven has reached 400 degrees, quickly pour the cornbread mixture into the hot oil and return the pan immediately to the oven.
The cornbread will immediately start to bubble around the edges. That’s what gives it such a nice crispy edge when it’s done!
Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Other cornbread recipes you might enjoy:
- Ezra Pound Cake’s Sour Milk Cornbread
- Southern Cornbread from Simply Recipes
- 101 Cookbooks’ Firecracker Cornbread
- Southern Buttermilk Cornbread from Andrea Meyers