The Lower-fat Cornbread Experiments: Success in Round 5
February 24, 2013
I’ve really been on a baking kick for some reason. Maybe it’s just a seasonal thing – bake when it’s cool out since you don’t notice the oven being on like you do in the summer. Anyhow, one thing I’ve been working on quite a bit is a good low-fat cornbread. I made several batches (five, I think?) before I really arrived at one that I felt was worthy of posting. I went through several rounds of trying to make it with cheddar cheese and chile peppers, including the round that resulted in the lovely, colorful picture below:
As attractive as the mid-way step was for this batch, it ended up being rather dry, since I hardly used any butter to compensate for the fat in the cheddar cheese. An earlier attempt used avocado as the fat component, and while that was good, it still seemed to dry out rather quickly. And then another batch I made included some fire-roasted red peppers, and sadly started to mold on day three! (That was when I discovered that cornbread really only keeps at room temperature for 1 to 2 days! Which brings me to a handy little website I found called Still Tasty, which has the shelf life of foods with various methods of storing foods).
For my final, approved version I decided to scrap the cheddar cheese (since the cheddar taste never seemed as apparent as I envisioned it would anyhow), used a bit more butter and then added sun-dried tomatoes and roasted green chiles, as well as a few other flavor components. And as soon as it cooled, I cut it into pieces and stuck it in the fridge. This round really made up for the rest of them, though – it’s got a very robust taste with just a bit of heat from dried red pepper flakes. (And it’s not dry!)
Low-fat Cornbread with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Roasted Green Chiles
makes 8-12 pieces
3/4 cup cornmeal
3/4 cup flour (I used white whole wheat)
2+1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground sumac*
1/4 heaping tsp dried red pepper flakes
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1/3 cup loosely packed sun-dried tomatoes
4 oz can diced roasted green chiles (I used mild)
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 egg whites
3/4 cup skim milk
* You can find ground sumac in Middle-Eastern markets or at Whole Foods
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine dried ingredients from cornmeal through black pepper and set aside.
If the sun-dried tomatoes are fairly hard, soak them in hot water for about 10-15 minutes, then drain. Cut into very small pieces.
Combine the sun-dried tomatoes, green chiles, melted butter, egg whites, and skim milk in a separate bowl.
When the oven has reached baking temperature, add the dried ingredients to the liquid ingredients, and stir just enough to incorporate the dry ingredients. Pour better into an 8 inch square pan (or a large bread pan), and smooth out the top. Bake for 25-35 minutes (it will take longer if you use a bread pan, I think), until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack. Store in the fridge once cool!