This rich moist cornbread is almost a meal in itself, but goes well with many winter dishes like chili or stew. If you have a cast iron skillet, use it to cook the bacon and sauté the onions, then mix the cornbread batter and pour it right back into the same skillet to bake. Cast iron skillets give cornbread a flavorful, crispy crust. I like to use half polenta and half yellow cornmeal for this recipe. The polenta is more coarsely ground, and gives the bread a more texture.A piece of this bread toasted with butter makes a great breakfast.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
- 4 slices of bacon
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/4 yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped fine
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon aji chile pepper paste (optional)
- 3 tablespoons diced roasted green chile peppers (optional)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup grated farmers cheese, (or any other firm cheese)
- 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 3/4 cups flour
- In a 9-inch skillet on medium heat, sauté the bacon until crispy. Remove to paper towels to drain. Crumble bacon and set aside.
- Discard excess bacon fat, keeping about 1 tablespoon of bacon fat in the skillet. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and the cumin (and aji paste if desired), and sauté the onion, bell pepper, and green chile peppers (if using) until soft and fragrant.
- Scrape sautéed vegetables into a large bowl and let cool slightly. Do not wash out skillet if planning to use it to bake the cornbread. (you can also bake the corn bread in a 9-inch cake pan or square baking pan).
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Add the flour, cornmeal, baking soda, salt, and baking powder to the bowl with the sauté onions and pepper.
- Stir in the eggs, buttermilk, crumbled bacon, and cheese until well mixed.
- Place the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into the skillet (or baking pan) and place into the oven to melt the butter, for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the skillet from the oven and pour the batter into the hot skillet. Return to the oven and bake cornbread for about 25 minutes, or until edges are crispy and golden brown, and center is puffed and feels firm to the touch.
- Let cook slighly before cutting into wedges. Serve hot.