Hatch green chile cornbread
When I arrived at the church potluck in Chambersville, Texas, on the counter was the usual assortment of luncheon dishes such as deviled eggs, meatballs, brisket, corn pudding, casseroles, salads, and brownies. There were also a slices of Hatch green chile cornbread, which my grandma said my uncle had made.
In typical potluck fashion, I piled up my plate with a little bit of everything. While I usually prefer cornbread with beans and greens, it went well with the eclectic assortment of dishes. I’m guessing it was because the cornbread was rich and tender with a just a whisper of heat from the roasted chiles.
The next time I visited my grandma at her farm, my uncle had made a pot of field peas for dinner, along with a salad and sliced ripe tomatoes. Green chile cornbread was on offer, as well. This time, the skillet bread went very well with the meal, as savory legumes and cornbread are natural partners.
After dinner, I again commented on how much I enjoyed the cornbread as it had such an inviting texture and a good balance of heat. Usually, my uncle’s recipe for a dish is simply a guide without many specifics, but when I asked how his cornbread was prepared he surprised me. He said the recipe was from Luby’s.
He told a story about how one night he had dinner at a friend’s house, and they served a jalapeño cornbread. He marveled at its flavor and asked for the recipe. They gave it to him, citing the beloved cafeteria as its original source. He then began tweaking it himself.
When I looked at the Luby’s recipe, I noticed sugar was included. I asked my uncle if he used it and he said yes, which surprised me as classic Texas cornbread doesn’t call for sugar, so I decided forgo it when I made my batch. I made a few other changes, such as swapping in bacon grease for the oil, using all buttermilk, and increased the amount of chiles while leaving out the corn, which I don’t usually enjoy in my cornbread.
Some chile cornbreads can be embellished with cheese and creamed corn but this one stayed true to the bread’s form, with the addition of peppers giving it just enough pep to be a little more exciting yet still very traditional and true to form.
The result was a luscious bread that’s crisp on the outside and soft within. There were plenty of peppers to give it a kick, yet it wasn’t overpowering. And it was fine on its own, but a pat of sweet butter warm and melting into the cornbread’s crevices made it especially good.
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Hatch green chile cornbread
- 4 long green chiles, such as Hatch or Anaheim
- 1/4 cup bacon grease or vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups finely ground cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups buttermilk
- Roast the chiles under the broiler until blackened on both sides, about 10-12 minutes, turning once. Once blackened, place the chiles in a paper sack or plastic food-storage bag, close it tight and let the chiles steam for 20 minutes. After the chiles have steamed, remove from the bag and rub off the skin. Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and chop. You should have about 1 cup.
- Preheat oven to 450° F. While the oven is heating, put the bacon grease or oil into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and place in the oven while the oven preheats.
- Meanwhile, mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together the eggs and buttermilk and pour into the dry ingredients. Stir until well combined.
- Take the cast iron skillet out of then oven, and pour the hot oil into the batter and stir until well combined. Add the Hatch green chiles to the batter and gently stir until evenly distributed.
- Pour the batter back into the hot skillet and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and an inserted knifes comes out clean. Serve warm.
Do you use the mild or hot fresh hatch chiles?
Beth–My preference is to use hot, but it’s good with mild, too.
Thanks for posting this — Central Market is having their Hatch Chili Festival now in San Antonio. My Mom loved cornbread and I made it for her weekly from a Central Market mix. However it was expensive and it called for a whole stick of butter among other ingredients so I began making it from scratch using oil instead of butter. I found that using Bob’s Red Mill cornmeal made a huge difference in taste. Someone mentioned Lamb’s cornmeal in the comments and I’ll have to try that too.
Margaret–Bob’s Red Mill is my favorite cornmeal as well. I’ve never tried Lamb’s but will see an eye out for it.
Super disappointed you will be holding recipes behind a paywall. Especially since you have ads running constantly on each post. I’m all for wanting to get paid for your hard work. Just disappointed at such a high price point. Sugar and cornbread is a huge fight in my household. You either love it or it is sacrilege, there is no middle ground. I fall solidly into no sugar and can’t wait to make this with the few hatch chiles I found at my local market.
Natalie–Most of the content on the site is still free, so if you want extra content you can subscribe but I’m not taking anything away, and I’m still posting free recipes regularly. Ad revenue is down across the Internet, which is why many are turning to this model. I didn’t want to load more ads to the site, so this was a solution that I felt was equitable without taking away from the reader’s experience. In any case, this is the only way I can keep the site running. Thank you for your feedback and enjoy the cornbread!
Can you figure what the calories are per serving? I’d love to try this and more of your recipes.
Hi Laura–Using an online recipe calorie calculator, this comes to 210 per slice.
Pretty good recipe, but I will make adjustments next time I bake this. I used canned hatch chiles (4 oz can) and no one could taste them at all. With fresh chiles, there might be more kick with this quantity, but everyone who tried this agreed that it needed more. Next time, I will also add a couple of fresh jalapeno peppers and include some of the green chile liquid to carry the flavor throughout the cornbread. I’ll also up the salt to a full teaspoon. I do love using bacon grease, though!! That was a great addition.
Thanks for sharing your adjustments!