Then I met The Chef, who insisted he didn't like corn bread. To me, that was a challenge. I quizzed him about what he didn't like about it. I figured out that he preferred his cornbread to be sweet and not dry and crumbly. So I began trying out different recipes I would find in cookbooks and on the internet. He didn't like any of them. I realized I would have to create my own recipe.
So began my cornbread odyssey. It took a lot of trial and error, but I finally came up with a recipe that he liked! It's a sweet and tender cornbread that is simply delicious. I'm really proud of this recipe because I created it entirely myself, so it's a Baker Original! We've taken to calling it "Cornbread For People Who Claim Not To Like Cornbread".
Yesterday I wanted to make cornbread but I was undecided what to make with it. I needed to drop M1 off at a guitar lesson. While I was waiting for him to get ready I was perusing blogs. Smitten Kitchen had just made some black bean soup and I was mentally slapping myself in the forehead... I LOVE black bean soup! It's probably my favorite soup. And, it would go so great with cornbread.
While M1 was at his lesson I ran over to the store and picked up the ingredients. Then we picked up M1 and went back home to make the soup and cornbread. I love the recipe she uses because you can cook the beans in a slow cooker, which is so convenient. There's no need to soak the beans overnight. I tend not to make black bean soup because I don't plan far enough in advance and by the time the craving hits I don't want to wait 24 hours. So I do without or I buy a container of pre-made soup at the store.
I did a couple of things differently than Smitten Kitchen. I don't like red and green peppers so I left them out. Knowing that by not having the peppers the soup would probably be flat tasting I chose to use chipotle sauce, which contains tomato puree, to round out the flavor. Because I used the sauce, and not just the chipotle pepper that she used, I used more than what she called for in her recipe.
I also garnished mine with some corn, queso fresco, mexican crema and cilantro... and a huge hunk of cornbread! It's delicious and hearty. A perfect meal to have on a cold day. And, oh by the way, it gets even better then next day!
yield: 8" x 8" pan
- 1 C All-purpose Flour
- 1 C Cornmeal
- 2/3 C Sugar
- 1 t Salt
- 3 1/2 t Baking Powder
- 1 Egg
- 1 C Milk
- 4 oz Butter
- 1/4 C Honey
- combine all of the dry ingredients; whisk together
- combine milk, honey and butter; microwave until the butter has melted; remove from microwave and whisk in the egg
- add the milk mixture to the flour mixture; whisk together, just until combined
- pour into a buttered pan; bake at 400 F for 15 - 20 mins
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large red onion
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 16-ounce package dried black beans
- small can of chipotle sauce (i used half of the can, which gives just a little after burn, but use more or less depending on how spicy or mild you like it)
- 7 cups hot water
- zest from 1 lime
- juice from 1 fresh lime (use the lime you zested)
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- heat oil in saute pan
- add onions saute until they just start to brown; add garlic and cumin; stir
- transfer to 6-quart slow cooker; add beans and chipotle sauce, and hot water; over and cook on high until beans are very tender; it took my beans about four hours to get soft, but Smitten Kitchen's beans took just under three hours, so test them every hour after the first two hours of cooking
- when the beans are tender, scoop a couple of ladles into a blender; puree until smooth; puree as much of the beans as you like; the pureed beans will act as a thickener for the soup; i prefer a more pureed soup so i pureed most of the beans;
- add the pureed beans back to the beans in the slow cooker; add the lime zest, lime juice, and season with salt, and pepper to taste; because you didn't season the beans in the beginning you will probably find you need a lot more salt than you thought
- to serve, garnish each bowl with some fresh corn, queso fresco, mexican crema and fresh cilantro and a big hunk of cornbread