I lived in Texas for three years and my first son, Alan, was born in Texas. So here I'm pumping up the Mex in Tex-Mex. Alan loves bacon, and cheddar cheese, so I've started adding that to our cornbread. This is one of those things that you can make and eat right out of the oven, warm, but then as it cools it’s delicious and then the next day for breakfast, even cold, it's delicious too.
- 3 poblano chiles charred, sweated, peeled, seeded and diced (see Note)
- 6 to 8 slices bacon (I use centre-cut)
- ½ cup yellow cornmeal (polenta)
- 165 g plain flour
- 175 g brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp kosher or coarse sea salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 235 ml milk
- 115 ml thickened cream cream
- 4 eggs, well beaten
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 2 cups corn kernels preferably fresh, or thawed from frozen
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F).
In a large cast-iron pan, over medium-high heat, add the bacon. Cook until crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the bacon from the pan and turn off the heat.
In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine the milk, cream and eggs. Whisk the wet ingredients into the dry. Add the cheddar cheese, corn and poblano chiles. Crumble the bacon and toss it in.
Pour in most of the bacon fat from the cast-iron pan into the batter, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pan. Mix well.
Place the cast-iron pan with the remaining bacon drippings again over medium heat, and pour the batter into the pan. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve.
• Poblano chillies are available from some supermarkets and greengrocers.