Cornbread For Your Chili

Greta got me started on a chili kick with her recipe last week. If you make any of the leftover chili dishes I suggested on Tuesday--or if you're hankering for sweet, corny yumness that is made better with butter, here's a kick-ass Basic Cornbread recipe.

This recipe comes from the book Cooking Texas Style. My parents found this book at a used bookshop in Maine and bought it for me as a gift when I left the lovely Green Mountains of Vermont to chase after my true love who was trapped in Corpus Christi, Texas. That seems like a lifetime ago, and now that my husband and I live in rainy Washington State, the recipes in Cooking Texas Style are all we need to remind us of "the whole other country" that is Texas.

Anyway, here's the recipe. It's begging for additions like bacon, cheddar cheese, corn kernels, jalapenos, whatever. Though you can cook this in anything you'd like, I suggest using cast iron. Liberally grease cast iron corn bread sticks or a cast iron skillet with Crisco and pre-heat in the 425 degree oven while you're mixing your cornbread ingredients. When you pour the batter into the sticks or skillet it will fry up a bit, giving you a crunchy, satisfying crust.

1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup bacon drippings or oil
1 1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Shift cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together.
Combine egg, oil (or bacon drippings), and milk together and add to flour mixture.Mix until smooth. This should resemble pancake batter--it will be thin and pour-able.Pour into a greased 9-inch square pan, 10-inch skillet, or 12 muffin tins (or cornbread sticks as mentioned above).Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.