Cornbread is one of those things I’ve always wanted to love, but instead have come to fear. When cornbread is good, it is really really good . . . moist and just a little bit sweet, dripping with butter, nothing could be better. But too often, cornbread is bad. Really, really, bad. Dry and scratching and brick-like, the kind of thing that no amount of sweet cream butter can rescue. The kind of cornbread that requires a full glass of water after each bite. That is the cornbread I fear. That is the kind of cornbread that can ruin even the most delicious of dinners. I am banishing that cornbread, once and for all. At least in my house. And hopefully in yours!
Spoonbread, if you’ve never had it, is a southern-style cousin to your usual cornbread. Moist and pudding-like, traditional spoonbread is served in the dish it’s baked in, and eaten with a spoon. This particular version is more of a hybrid–firm enough to cut into squares that hold together, but still far more moist than most typical cornbreads. And the flavor is kicked up a notch with a middle layer of green chilies and cheddar cheese, plus a little more cheese on top. It just doesn’t get much better.
We make this every 4th of July for our block party barbecue (we’re not invited if we don’t bring it), and all through the winter as a side for our favorite turkey chili. It’s simple, quick, delicious–and you’ll never go back to the dry nasty stuff again, believe me. And, can I just say? My husband made this batch, I was barely able to snap pictures as he whipped through it. You can tell he was the one cooking, the cans of corn were upside down on the counter and the bowl is about to fall off. Heh heh.
This recipe was adapted from a recipe in a southern church cookbook (title lost), attributed to Mary C. Gayle. The adaptation was simply to reduce the amount of cheese (you won’t miss it, I promise). The pictures in this post are of a double batch, made in a 9×13 pan.
- 1 can (13oz) creamed style corn
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 Jiffy corn bread mix
- 1 can (4oz) diced green chilies
- 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
Beat eggs slightly; add corn, milk, and corn bread mix. Pour half of the batter into a greased 9×9 inch pan. Add chilies and half of the cheese. Top with remaining batter, and then remaining cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until fully set and browned on top.