Okay, I really don’t know what makes this Irish, but thought it would be a good addition to your list of go to dishes and give the plethora of “Irish” recipes out there, it fits. The Spicy (really, you thought Irish food was safe from the chili – sorry Joe!) Skillet Irish Cornbread. This didn’t really hold up as a bread for me – I mean I couldn’t slice it thinly, but the taste was so good, I could easily see it chopped into large croutons, toasted in a hot oven and served on top of some great stew or soup. Just an idea. But even though it didn’t hold up to slicing, the taste will blow you away!  I used a 13″ cast iron enamel coated skillet for this recipe and it worked out great.  Typical cornbread rise – even with over 4 tsps. of baking powder.

Of course I added a habanero chili and all the Tabasco the recipe called for. Oh yes, and the chili powder I use is hot (if it ain’t hot, don’t call it chili powder). Coriander gives it a unique taste as well – so do try making this. We Indians make something similar called Dhokla (it’s not a Goan dish but an Indian dish from the Gujarat region) which is made with chickpea flour. It is served with a topping or tempered oil – usually, comprised of mustard seed and fresh coriander leaves in quickly seared in hot oil (with lots of variations). Best part of this cornbread recipe, it’s cooked in a skillet, you don’t need a mixer and it’s ready in 30 minutes with very little cleanup required. As always – enjoy!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup white sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 habanero or other chili, chopped fine
1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped roughly
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs, beaten
4 1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce

Preheat oven and skillet to 400F
In a large bowl, mix together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, habanero, coriander and cayenne pepper
Cut in shortening until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs
In a small bowl, beat together milk, eggs and hot pepper sauce
Stir milk mixture into the flour/cornmeal mixture until just blended
Remove hot skillet from the oven, pour about 1 tablespoon olive oil into the hot skillet pan and rub all over using a brush – NOTE: the skillet will be very hot
Pour the batter into skillet, spread it out
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. That’s it, no really! Guinness accompaniment recommended (a little bit of Irish).

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Out of the oven, just from the frying pan, cut up and waiting to be eaten!

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Skillet Cornbread – Sliced, ready to be slathered with butter!

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Variation on Spicy Skillet Irish Cornbread – Dhokla Style – curry leaves, mustard seed, chillies quickly fried in hot olive oil, poured over top of the cornbread – Delicious!