Many years ago, when I was about eleven years old, my mother made "Mexican Cornbread" for the first time. While I had eaten regular cornbread about all my life, this was something new and different. My mother admitted to our family that she got the recipe from a local TV homemaking show and that she had jotted down the recipe that very day. It was some great cornbread and from then on, I've always enjoyed this cornbread that's known for its Mexican slant!
"Mexican Cornbread" is a recipe that has many variations. Just look through any local cookbook, especially those published in churches and civic organizations. The recipe contains basically the same ingredients, though there are some slight variations. Some of those include using hot peppers, while some recipes don't. Some call for creamed corn and some call for whole-kernel corn. Most all of the recipes call for shredded cheese and chopped onions. There are recipes that call for buttermilk and some for regular milk. One version I came across adds ground beef and turns it into a main dish.
The version I have for you is about as basic as it gets. This one uses self-rising cornmeal, along with eggs, oil, regular milk, onions and grated cheese. This one also uses hot peppers and whole-kernel corn. It's a really good quick bread and a nice change from the regular version we have so often.
The recipe doesn't state whether to use white or yellow cornmeal. Personally, I prefer the yellow version, but I would let that be your choice as to which type to use. I bake this cornbread in an 8-inch square pan, but if you want to use a traditional iron skillet, feel free to do that. Some people swear that cornbread is much better baked in an iron skillet!
When working with the hot peppers, use care to not touch your eyes or face. The oils from these peppers is very strong and can actually burn if you aren't careful. Some recipes for "Hot Pepper Jelly" even state that you should wear rubber gloves when handling these peppers. That's a good idea, but if you prefer not to wear them, make sure to wash your hands very well after working with these peppers.
This bread would go very well with a Mexican meal or even with a good pot of beans and coleslaw. The leftovers can be wrapped, refrigerated and reheated the next day, if desired. The reheating can be done in the microwave or in a regular oven. If heating in a regular oven, I would suggest wrapping the bread in foil and placing it in the oven until heated through.
To go with this special bread, I shared a recipe sometime ago for "Crock Pot Beans", which are like barbecued beans that are made in a slow cooker. To get this recipe, as well as some other slow-cooker recipes, follow this link:
When you are tired of regular cornbread, make a batch of this special cornbread and it'll wake up your taste buds!
- 1-1/3 cups self-rising cornmeal
- 3-4 hot peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped fine
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese
- 1 small can whole-kernel corn, drained
Mix the above ingredients until just mixed well. Turn into a greased 8 inch square pan or a hot, greased iron skillet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until browned and firm in the center. Serve hot. Yield: 8 servings.