By Robin Young
September brings us to the cusp of fall, and the Colorado Proud recipe of the month is bringing a warm and savory classic. We are taking the world-famous Pueblo green chile and adding it to a cornbread to complement your main entree.
The Pueblo chile is both a staple in Colorado and comes with a bit of competition with our neighbors in New Mexico. The Pueblo chile pungency ranges between 5,000 and 20,000 Scoville heat units, the measurement method used to rank chile heat. Pueblo chiles are comparable to moderate jalapeno peppers and are usually a little warmer than cayenne peppers.
The growing conditions in southeastern Colorado produce some of the best chiles available. Hot, dry, sunny summer days, combined with our rich soils and pure Colorado water, yield some of the hottest and most flavorful chiles. Watch out for the little ones — they tend to pack the most heat (according to the Pueblo Chile Growers Association). The meaty and flavorful chiles add a local tasty flare to any recipe, so get your jam and butter ready for this tasty Colorado Proud- style cornbread.
Each month, the Colorado Department of Agriculture features a different ag commodity to highlight the variety and quality of products grown and raised in our state. For September, Chef Jason Morse brings us a savory treat for fall.
Morse said, “Fire up the grill and let’s roast off those Pueblo chiles. Next, we take those amazing chiles and create a cornbread that will be the envy of your next dinner party. Packed with corn, cheese and chile, this is the life of the party!”
Pueblo chile cornbread
1 1/4 cup cornmeal, coarse or fine ground
1 1/2 cup flour, all purpose
1 teaspoon salt, kosher or sea
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup brown sugar, dry, packed
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup Mexican crema
2 large eggs
1 cup Pueblo chiles, roasted, peeled and diced
1 cup Colorado corn kernels
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 stick butter, salted, room temp
• Wash all tools prior to use.
• Clean and sanitize all cutting boards and prep surfaces prior to use.
• Read all manufacturer’s instructions before using ovens, grills or cooking tools.
1. Grill and roast your Pueblo chiles until desired doneness is achieved. Here you can find a simple way to roast chiles at home if you have not already purchased them roasted. Chef’s tip: After roasting chiles, place into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; that will help steam off the charred parts, leaving the chile intact.
2. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
3. While the oven is heating up, line a 10-inch cast iron skillet with parchment paper and lightly spray.
4. Add all the dry ingredients into a bowl. Mix well to combine.
5. Using a new bowl, place the softened butter and crema into the bowl and mix until combined. Add the milk, diced chiles, corn kernels and cheese. Mix until combined. Allow to rest for approximately 5 minutes.
6. Carefully add half of the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined.
7. Add the rest of the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix until fully incorporated and just mixed.
8. Pour this mixture into the cast iron skillet and level out if needed.
9. Place into the oven at 400 degrees.
10. Cook for 35-45 minutes or until desired doneness is reached, checking for doneness at the 35-minute mark. Check for doneness by inserting a clean, dry toothpick into the center and removing it clean.
11. Using heat-proof gloves, carefully remove the cornbread and bring it into the kitchen. Rest for a minimum of 10 minutes to allow the cornbread to cool and firm up.
12. Serve with honey butter if desired.
13. Store any leftovers loosely covered overnight; do not refrigerate.
Visit ColoradoProud.org for a complete list of recipes.
Oct. 2: Cottage Foods Training — an online event. Please go our Facebook page or website to register or call the office for more information.
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Oct. 20: 4-H open house. Look next week for more details.
Nov. 3: ServSafe for restaurant workers.
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