No Texan-style dinner would be complete without a side of cornbread—or in this case, corn sticks (which technically are just individual servings of cornbread that have been baked in a special pan). This recipe adds a little kick to the traditional recipe by including jalapeños for extra flavor. We paired this spicy side dish with our Southeast Texas Gumbo for delicious results!
- ¼ cup bacon grease or vegetable oil
- 1½ cups yellow cornmeal
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 jalapeños
- 1 egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
(makes 14 corn sticks)
Step 1: Cook bacon, and reserve grease.
In an 8-by-10 rimmed baking sheet, place the bacon in a single layer directly onto the pan—I found it best not to line the sheet with foil to make it easier to collect the drippings once the bacon is cooked.
Cook the bacon according to the instructions on the package, before transferring each piece onto a plate lined with paper towels. Carefully transfer the grease drippings from the baking sheet to a bowl, and let cool.
You only need to use the grease, so be sure to indulge on the crispy bacon as you work your way through the recipe!
Step 2: Grease your pan.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. While that heats up, lightly grease two cornstick pans. Cornstick pans traditionally come with slots for seven corn sticks, so you will need to separate the batter into two batches if you do not have a second pan. Alternatively, you can bake this recipe in a traditional cast-iron skillet, too.
Step 3: Dice the jalapeños, and measure out ingredients.
This recipe calls for two jalapeños. Be sure to cut off the stem and remove the seeds before dicing the peppers into tiny pieces. Then, measure out the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix the dry ingredients with the diced jalapeños in a large bowl.
Step 4: Mix the wet ingredients with the dry.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and bacon grease—heating up the grease, if necessary—and pour into the dry ingredients. Stir until well combined. The batter will be very thick.
Step 5: Pour batter into pans.
Carefully spoon the batter into the greased pans, filling each indentation to the rim.
Step 6: Bake for 40 minutes. Serve, and enjoy.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown and an inserted knife comes out clean. If you are baking in a skillet, it might take a few minutes longer for the cornbread to finish baking. These are best enjoyed straight from the oven, while they’re still warm and moist!
This featured recipe has been adapted from the cookbook The Homesick Texan’s Family Table: Lone Star Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours by Lisa Fain (© Ten Speed Press, 2014). For more Lone Star-inspired dishes, pick up your own copy of The Homesick Texan’s Family Table: Lone Star Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours on Amazon.com.