Mexican cornbread is a variation on standard cornbread that adds several additional layers of flavor. Crisp on the outside, Mexican cornbread is moist and tender on the inside. The cornbread may be baked into a pone or prepared in sectioned skillets to create equally sized triangular sections that are ideal for individual servings.
There are several ingredients that give Mexican cornbread its colorful appearance and distinctive taste. Simple cornbread is composed of eggs, milk, corn meal, a small amount of flour, and cooking oil. All these ingredients are also present in the typical Mexican cornbread recipe, plus several others that provide a whole new dimension to the finished product.
In order to convert a standard cornbread recipe into a true Mexican food, jalapeno peppers are essential. The peppers must be seeded ahead of time and minced into pieces that will cook thoroughly during the baking process. Both red and green varieties of hot peppers are ideal for use in Mexican cornbread recipes.
Along with the peppers, cream style corn helps to add another texture to the body of the bread. The combination of the yellow kernels of corn with the red and green hot peppers work very well, giving the Mexican cornbread a pleasing presentation. In addition the liquid from the cream style corn helps to give the cornbread a smoother texture than is found with basic cornbread recipes. It is not unusual to add finely chopped onion to the mixture as well.
Many people are surprised to learn that grated cheese is also used in Mexican cornbread. Most commonly, mild or sharp cheddar is grated and mixed directly into the cornbread batter along with the corn meal, flour, eggs, milks, corn and peppers. A small amount of cheese is retained to sprinkle on the top of the cornbread batter once it is ready to go into the oven.
While many people think in terms of making Mexican cornbread as a pone that is sliced into sections, or using a sectioned iron skillet to make individual servings, the cornbread can also be used as the top crust for Mexican style casseroles. Because of the blend of flavors created by the corn meal, peppers, onion and cheddar cheese, the crust can enhance both the look and the taste of the casserole.