this past monday, la grande hosted our dear friends, lowell and stephan from colorado, for dinner. seminarians, they were placed in detroit for a month to learn and grow and experience life in motown, and their final evening in the grand old city of day-twa was spent cozily sitting at the dinner table donned with those warm western lovers, cornbread and chili. 

prominently positioned in the center of our table, the cornbread, suited regally in traditional cast-iron fashion, demanded our attention. and rightfully so. a perfect, crumbly, moist compliment to a lovely soup and salad. and so easy to make!

i grew up on the jiffy box. and i have no intention of knocking the jiffy box. that blue box happily courted our table throughout the years, cheery yellow and so very quick. but i must admit, the ease and speed of homemade cornbread caused me to question why i hadn’t tried sooner. 

as it’s been cold in the grand city of detroit, i added some chipotle peppers in adobe and cumin to warm up this comfortable classic. the subtle smokiness and slight kick really complimented the chili with grand sophistication. enjoy!

cornbread & a little heat
adapted from moosewood restaurant classics

1 cup cornmeal
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
a good sprinkle of cumin
2 eggs
1/4 cup veggie oil (i used melted butter, our house was out of oil!)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt or buttermilk (i spooned in a little ricotta cheese here, too)

1/2 a chipotle pepper packed in adobo, deseed for less spice


1. preheat the oven to 400. butter a 9-in square or 7×11-in baking dish (or use a seasoned cast-iron skillet!)
2. whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cumin in a large bowl. in a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, butter, brown sugar, and buttermilk. add in the chipotle pepper, diced.

4. make a well in the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients until just blended, do not overmix.

5. spread batter into pan. bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and a knife can be inserted in the center and comes out clean.

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