Cornbread is one of my most favourite things in the world. One of the most memorable meals of my life was at the Tomato restaurant during my very first trip to Vancouver back in the early 90s. After perusing the entire menu, I decided on the veggie chili because it came with a piece of cornbread.

And, oh, what a piece it was. Golden, moist, buttery and at least 4” tall, it managed to steal the show from the amazingly good chili that it accompanied. 17 years later, I still get excited when I think about that cornbread being set in front of me.

Thanks to the internets, I have managed to track down the now-closed Tomato’s cornbread recipe. I have copied and pasted it here for your baking convenience. As well, I have included my own recipe for low-fat, super-quick cornbread bites. They come together in about 15 mins and are the perfect compliment to chili or baked beans. (And they’re Mascot approved!)

Cornbread Bites
½ cup cornmeal
½ cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
½ cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp water
1 egg
¼ cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen (thawed)

Preheat oven to 400. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, beat together yogurt, water, sugar and egg. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until combined. Stir in corn kernels. Bake in a sprayed, non-stick mini muffin pan for 10 mins, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Serve warm. Makes 12.

Tomato Cafe’s Cornbread
Source: “Taste of Vancouver” (Prepared by Chef Diane Clement)
2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ cups cornmeal
3 tbsp baking powder
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup melted butter
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cup buttermilk
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
1 cup aged sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup chopped mild green chilis (canned, drained)

Lightly grease a 9-inch baking dish and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients with a whisk.
Add all the remaining ingredients and mix until just blended.
Spoon the batter into the baking dish.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean and the top is golden brown.
Remove from oven. Cool 15 minutes. Cut into squares to serve.
To reheat the cornbread place in a 350 F oven 15 to 20 minutes until heated through.
6 (generous) servings

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