Hatch peppers reign supreme in the chile world, so make the most of them with this tender, moist Hatch Green Chile Cornbread — it’s an irresistible combination of sweet and heat!
It’s hard to call this Hatch Green Chile Cornbread a side dish because it’s going to hog center stage no matter what you serve it with. It’s got a wonderful crumb, a hint of sweetness from brown sugar, and all kinds of smokey heat from those roasted Hatch chiles. A pat of butter and a drizzle of local honey takes the whole thing and pitches it right over the top. This is cornbread like you’ve never had it before.
Remember Hatch chiles from last week’s Hatch Green Chile Dip? I had some of those roasted peppers leftover and my head’s been spinning with recipe ideas. Hatch is a variety of chile that only grows in the valley around Hatch, New Mexico, and they have a super short season from August through part of September. They happen to have fabulous flavor, too, so they’ve got something of a cult following. You can buy Hatch chiles fresh, if you can find them, but you’ll have to roast them yourself. Or you can get ready-roasted and skinned peppers in frozen packets right from the source. Mine are from The Hatch Chile Store, and they’re available year round, which is great if you develop a taste for them and decide you can’t live without a regular Hatch pepper fix.
The fresh peppers (above) can be roasted under the broiler until blackened. Wrap immediately in plastic and let them steam for about 15 minutes. The skins will peel off easily and the roasted pepper is ready to use. You can see complete instructions here.
The packaged pre-roasted hot peppers (below) just need a quick chop, I leave the seeds in for extra heat. The mild peppers come already chopped and ready to fold into the cornbread batter.
Speaking of cornbread, it’s your best buddy when you need to put something wholesome and comforting on the table in no time, and it’s so accommodating when it comes to variations. Some of my best recipes are cornbreads that I’ve ‘jazzed’ up in one way or another. Like my all-time favorite Pumpkin Cornbread…it goes so well with chili. But then again my Zucchini Cornbread was fabulous, and the Kale version is amazing. OK, so back to Hatch chiles…
These slender green chiles are as famous for their robust flavor as they are for their heat, so it’s nice that they come in a mild form, too. I mixed about 2/3 mild with 1/3 hot, and it’s perfect for me.
- I cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 stick, 1/2 cup, unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup chopped roasted Hatch Chiles (hot, mild, or a mix) plus a few more for sprinkling on top
- Set oven to 400F
- Lightly butter a 9 or 10 inch tart pan, or round cake pan
- Whisk the dry ingredients together, set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk the eggs, buttermilk, and cooled butter together. Stir in the chiles.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing just until combined.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Top with a few extra chopped chiles.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until risen, browned along the edges, and done in the center. You can check with a toothpick. Cool on a rack or serve hot from the pan.
- Double the recipe for a 9×13 pan, and the cooking will probably be a little longer. Cornbread cooks surprisingly quickly, though, so be alert. Depending on your pan and your oven, the cooking time can vary.
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