Credit: Image by Frances Spiegel, all rights reservedA basic Corn Bread recipe is rather bland. It needs something tasty, perhaps cheesy or spicy, to add flavour. So I often experiment with different variations. You can add almost any finely chopped vegetable to the corn bread mix. I've also created several very successful variations using different cheeses. I think I've tried everything from sweetcorn, courgettes and broccoli to red pepper and crumbled Stilton cheese.
I think my favourite variation is Corn Bread with chilli. It takes about ten minutes to prepare this recipe plus 35 minutes cooking time. These ingredients make twelve very generous squares.
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- 150 g (5 oz) rice flour
- 150 g (5 oz) fine polenta
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- 3 tablespoons grated cheese. This recipe will work well with any hard cheese. I prefer to use a vegetarian Grana Padano which works very well in this recipe.
- Handful of finely chopped fresh chives
- 1 deseeded and finely chopped red chilli
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Extra oil for greasing the baking tray
- Two eggs, beaten well
- 300 ml (½ pint) buttermilk - if you don't have buttermilk, and I rarely do, add 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of lemon juice to 300 ml of milk.
I like to replace the chilli with a handful of finely chopped courgettes, broccoli, red or yellow sweet pepper or a tin of sweetcorn - it's your choice. I always look for sweetcorn packed in water without salt. If your sweetcorn is packed in salt water, rinse before use.
- Grease a 20 cm (8 inch) square cake tin. Pre-heat the oven to 190ºC (375ºF), Gas Mark 5.
- Sift together the flour, polenta, salt and baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the sugar, cheese, chives and chilli.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the oil, eggs and buttermilk. Add these to the dry ingredients, mixing gently until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into the grease cake tin and cook in the pre-heated oven for about 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
- Place on a wire rack to cool, and then cut into squares
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Gluten-free Corn Bread Goes with Almost Anything
This Gluten-free Corn Bread is a good accompaniment to a salad or Broccoli and Marrow Soup, or just as a simple snack at any time of day. I think it goes especially well with a good hot beefy stew.
This recipe freezes well, but I would suggest you cut it into squares before freezing. Packed carefully, this gluten-free Corn Bread with Chilli travels well and is good for summer picnics or packed lunches.