The big day arrived on Saturday. An electrician came and moved the electrical receptacle so that the range could be pushed into the waiting space. After shoving, lifting, adjusting, etc. the range was declared installed. The burners came on. The oven heated up. There was no alarm or error message. All of that happened just in time because it was our turn to host our family Sunday dinner. I had already planned to make chili in the slow cooker as a fall-back, so I went ahead with that plan. I had promised my grandson some cornbread to go with the chili if the stove wound up being installed. Cornbread turned out to be the inaugural dish cooked/baked in the new stove. The stove is great. There are just enough bells and whistles to let you know it is a new stove, but not so many that you can’t figure out how to operate it without a degree in electrical engineering. Most importantly, the stove has KNOBS that you turn to start a burner or the oven. There are no electronic touch panels that would almost certainly short out at some time to require an expensive electronic replacement.
The chili bubbled away for hours in the slow cooker. Spoiler alert for all Texans. I added pinto beans, and they required the extra hours of simmering. In line with the theme for the night, I made a jicama and kumquat salad with a light dusting of ground chiles along with queso fundido with chorizo on tortillas for snacks with drinks. A chili night, even though we had all the windows open.
Per our custom, Carol’s contribution to the meal was dessert. She planned on using apples as it is now apple season, but she could not decide on a French apple tart or an American apple pie. Her family is fond of both, so she decided to make one of each and have a vote of preference by the family. The desserts were both beautiful and both delicious, but the French tart won, hands down. Carol was pleased with the outcome because she said the tart was much easier to make. We did not do a calorie comparison. No one wanted to know.
As to the cornbread, the oven worked beautifully. I added green chiles and cheddar cheese to the standard family cornbread recipe. I did not use sugar, but if you are one of those folks who believe that cornbread needs a touch of sweetening, you can add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the dry mixture. I also baked the bread in a cast iron skillet. I believe that makes a crisper crust, but you can use a well-greased baking pan instead. A 9×9 or 9×13 inch pan should do, although the bread will be thinner and crisper with the larger pan. You may need to cut the baking time a little short.
Green Chili Cheese Cornbread
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup yellow cornmeal
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1½ cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 4 ounce can chopped green chiles, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In a small bowl, combine the melted butter, buttermilk, and beaten eggs.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and combine with a fork or spatula until they are evenly mixed. Stir in the green chiles and grated cheese.
- Pour the batter into a well-greased cast iron skillet that has been heated in an oven pre-heated to 425°F. Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes or until the top of the cornbread is evenly browned.
- Cool on a baking rack for 5 minutes. Cut into eight wedges and serve while still warm.