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The Best of Winter Breads: High Desert Cornbread

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When you live in the high desert of Northern Nevada, whether it be outside Reno, the vapid surroundings of Carson City or anywhere the cowboys roamed to settle this great state, you take a lot of things for granted -- including the cooking which originated here. Nothing beats "cowboy" or high desert cooking, especially as we approach the barbecue and grilling season.

This recipe for cornbread is probably unlike anything you've prepared before. It has all the elements of a usual cornbread but that is where the similarities end. Into our batter we will have the freshness of green onions and jalapeno peppers. Our batter will be lightened with sour cream and once we play with the chemistry of baking powder, baking soda and salt, we will have a batter which expands, thus giving us one of the lightest cornbread's on the face of the earth.

Ingredients needed to make High Desert Cornbread (makes 1 8-inch round bread):

  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup minced green onion
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. cream
  • 1 egg, beaten


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Line the bottom of an 8-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the remaining ingredients.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Set the batter aside 5 minutes (this will be when the aforementioned chemical trick will happen).
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and even out.
  6. Place in the oven and bake 25 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan 10 minutes.
  8. Remove from the pan and let cool on a rack until ready to serve.

The internationally bestselling cookbook from Chef Larry Edwards, "Edwardian Cooking: 80 Recipes Inspired by Downton Abbey's Elegant Meals," is now in it's third printing and available worldwide in both hard cover and e-book versions. The paperback version will be released March 4, 2014.



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