This version comes from America, but is strongly influenced by Mexican food. However, I like to give it a West African twist by adding piri-piri chillies rather than the jalapeños with which it's most commonly made (this makes it much hotter). Still, if you want a little of the chilli flavour, but not much of the heat you could just as well make it with cayenne chillies. (As you may have guessed, I love chilli-based recipes!)
This recipe is great for mopping up sauces and gravies and this makes an excellent accompaniment to a range of meals.
Chilli CornbreadServes: 8
Ingredients:75g (2 1/2 oz) plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
200g medium cornmeal (or polenta)
1 tsp salt
3 eggs, beaten
4 tbsp olive oil
200g tinned sweetcorn, drained
2 red chillies, finely chopped (remove the seeds and membranes for a milder effect)
2 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro), chopped
Method:Sift together the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl then stir in the cornmeal and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, buttermilk and oil. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until you have a smooth batter. Nw stir in the sweetcorn, chillies and coriander then pour the batter into a deep 1kg (2 lb) loaf tin that's been greased and linen on its base with greaseproof (waxed) paper.
Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 200ºC (400ºF, Gas Mark 8) and bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cornbread emerges cleanly.
Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.
As an aside to the main recipe, if you would like to learn a little more about chillies (hot peppers) and how they were spread to the Old World from the Americas, read this article on the Worldwide Spread and Adoption of Chillies.