I made turkey three-bean chili the other day and, as my trusty Crock Pot worked its magic, I wondered what I should serve it with. Naturally, the phrase “chili cheese nachos” was the first thing to go through my head, but I wanted something a little more substantial and less bar food-y. So I scoured the trusty Joy of Cooking for some ideas, and quickly settled on a good one: cornbread.
If you do a decent amount of baking, like me, you’ll probably already have all of these ingredients in your pantry; this is not a recipe that requires much forethought. The prep is pretty quick, and my batch was done baking before I’d even finished cleaning up (I did have a slight cornmeal mishap).
The fun thing about this recipe is that it can yield either cornbread or corn muffins, so it’s just the perfect source of corny goodness. Potential add-ins include: jalapenos (1 or two fresh, peeled & minced), cheese (1 cup grated cheddar or Jack), or creamed corn (1 cup canned or homemade). Stir these in after the rest of the batter is done; definitely don’t let them near the dry mix before it becomes batter.
Corn Bread or Muffins
Have all ingredients at room temperature, about 70°F. Pre-heat the oven to 425°F. Grease the pan with butter or oil. Place the pan in the oven.
Whisk together in a large bowl:
1 ¼ cups yellow or white cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
¾ cup all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 to 4 tablespoons sugar (if making muffins, lean toward the higher end for sugar)
¾ teaspoon salt
1 or 2 large eggs, beaten
2 to 3 tablespoons melted butter or vegetable oil
1 cup milk
Combine with a few rapid strokes (you’ll be surprised how quickly the batter comes together). Pull pan from oven and scrape the batter into the hot pan. Make 15-18 minutes until lightly browned.
The bread (and likely the muffins as well) are amazing while still warm and with a little bit of butter. As bread, it can stand on its own or can be used as a base for chili, as mentioned above, or another soup or stew.