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BACON CRUMBLE CORNBREAD

There’s something about cornbread that really complements chili, and there’s something about bacon that really complements cornbread. This cornbread combines the smoky, rich flavor of bacon with the gritty satisfying texture and pleasing earthiness of cornmeal—and it’s delicious alongside any number of chilies. You may use either finely ground corn meal or corn flour or coarsely ground corn meal.

Yield: Serves 4 to 8

4 strips thick-cut (or 8 strips thin-cut) good-quality bacon

1 cup blue, yellow or white cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 egg

1 cup milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Cut the bacon crosswise into ¼ inch wide strips.using a kitchen scissors or a sharp knife, then place them in a 9-inch cast-iron or heavy oven-proof skillet over medium-low heat and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings in the skillet and pour off the rest.

  1. Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg and milk. Add egg mixture to the dry mixture and stir to combine.

  1. Pour the bacon drippings into the batter and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the unwashed skillet, top with the bacon, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cornbread comes out clean, 20 minutes.

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