Monday, June 18, 2012

Sheila’s Mexican Cornbread

I have always been free and easy about sharing recipes.  Perhaps it was my upbringing but good food is meant to be shared, right?  By the same token, I am not shy about asking you to share yours.  I met someone years ago (in a ladies' Bible study group no less!) who refused to share recipes.  I can’t even remember what she had made that I expressed an interest in knowing how to make, but she flat out said, “I don’t share my recipes.”  I was sure she was kidding and tried to make a joke.  She was dead serious.  I was flabbergasted.  Seriously?  I had never met anyone who refused to share before (or since.)

Fortunately, my friend Sheila was also raised in the Southern Louisiana tradition and, when I asked her to share the recipe for her succulent, cheesy spicy cornbread, she sent me an email right away.  She is the best kind of friend because she never hesitates to share other information as well.  She was the one who first took me around Cairo and showed me the important things like where to get Fritos and Karo, where the Community Services Association is and she gave me the name of a good vet who makes house calls.  Look in the dictionary under Helpful, Knowledgeable Expat and you will see a photo of Sheila.  Because she is among the very best of our ilk. 

1 cup or 6 oz or 170g yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup or 226g sour cream
1 1/4 cups or 12 oz or 275g creamed corn
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 medium onion
2-4 jalapeño peppers or chili peppers (Sheila said: I like red and green.  I agree!)
12 oz or 340g extra sharp cheddar

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.   Grease a 9in X 13in or 33cm X 23cm cake pan or line a 12-cup muffin tin with awesomely delicious bacon cups.  Or muffin liners.  But I promise bacon cups are worth the trouble.  They are not only pretty but add such flavor to the cornbread.  Your mouth will be doing a happy dance with the cornbread alone.  The bacon cups add a pirouette to every bite.

Chop your onion pretty finely.  My father-in-law won’t eat onions if he can see them so I was careful with this step. 

Dice your chosen peppers and add as much as you like, depending on their hotness and your potential eaters.  Peppers vary greatly in heat and so it’s worthwhile to give yours a taste to judge how spicy they are before you add them.  If greater heat is desired, also leave in the membranes and seeds.

Mix all of the ingredients.

Pour or spoon the batter into your prepared pan.  As you can see, I chose the bacon cups!

For the cake pan, bake for about 45-55 minutes - or 25-30 minutes for muffins - or until golden brown.  If you are using bacon cups, coax them out gently with a spoon while still warm.  In any case, allow them both to cool before cutting.


Divine cheesy spicy deliciousness.  And also bacon.  

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