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Elote Cornbread and Abarriata Chilli

If you've roped yourself into a chilli cook-off and need an idea, I got you right here. Elote cornbread as a concept came to me out of nowhere and I had to make it a thing. I have no idea if it is already a thing or not, I did not Google it beforehand. I'm sure I am not the first to think of it. This isn't just any cornbread and the texture was very tender and moist. I love a good honey and butter combo but this was a fun twist and has earned a spot as a permanent go-to in my recipe book. Abarriata means "angry" in Italian and refers to a spicy tomato based pasta sauce, much like Marinara. It has a smooth heat from crushed red pepper, but I cut through the heat a little bit with a splash of whole milk (so that my 6 year old would not be turned off after one bite). Totally optional to leave it out and keep it as-is if you prefer the heat.


Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees

1 can of Sweet corn

Cook in cast iron skillet or frying pan on high heat until corn is charred. Be sure to cover with foil while cooking because kernels will pop and fly out.

Prepare the Elote spread and put in a bowl to the side.

Elote Spread Ingredients:

¼ cup mayonnaise

¼ sour cream

2 Tablespoon Mexican Crema

1/4 tsp kosher salt

Black pepper

1 Teaspoon Paprika

1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne

1 Tablespoon of Lime juice

Queso fresco crumbled

1 Tablespoon chopped Cilantro.

Combine in a small bowl.

Prepare batter for corn bread:

1 1/4 Cup of All-Purpose flour

3/4 Cups of Corn Meal

1/4 Cup of sugar

2 Teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 Teaspoon of Salt

1 Cup of whole milk

2 Eggs (Beaten)

5 oz Queso Fresco Crumbled

  • Add all batter ingredients to a bowl and mix until combined.

  • Fold in charred corn and queso fresco.

  • Generously spray a 10" skillet with non-stick baking spray or grease thoroughly. Pour batter into the skillet.

  • Dollop spoonfuls of Elote spread on top of the batter. Take a toothpick or a very sharp knife and swirl the tops. The trick to a nice swirl is to only dip the tip of the toothpick in about a centimeter. If you dip it anymore than that, the dollops will just mix and you won't get the nice design. Good tip if you're making a marble cake or something like that.

  • Bake for 30 minutes. Tap your fingers on the top of the cornbread. If it is solid and bouncy, it's done. If it indents slightly, continue baking in 3 minute intervals. You could always insert a toothpick but if you don't want to poke holes in your bread or cakes, this is a nice baking skill to master.

  • Sprinkle remaining queso on top and cilantro to garnish.

Abbariata Chilli


1lb Ground Beef

1 Sweet Onion, chopped

2 Cloves of smashed Garlic

2 Tablespoons of tomato paste

Salt and pepper to taste

2 Red Bell peppers, seeds removed and chopped into pieces.

1 large carrot, diced

2 jars of Arrabiata sauce

1-2 Cup of water. Add gradually to desired consistency.

1/4 Cup of Cornmeal

Worcestershire sauce. Several dashes.

Soy sauce. Also several dashes

1 Can of pinto beans (if desired). I do desire, however keep in mind it will increase the thickness of the chili significantly. Not a bad thing, just add water to thin it out.

Splash of whole milk

Salt and Pepper

  • Add 1 Tablespoon of butter to a skillet

  • Sauté onions with smashed garlic.

  • Add tomato paste and ground beef and cook until browed. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  • Add to a dutch oven (or slow cooker) Bell peppers, carrot, Arrabiata sauce, water, cornmeal, and Worcestershire and soy sauce.

  • Add in meat and onion mixture. If using a dutch onion, simmer on stovetop over low heat for about 2 hours.

  • Add splash of milk.

  • Taste and add salt and pepper.

  • Add can of pinto beans (drained) about 10-15 minutes before serving. If using a slow cooker, cook on the low setting for about 6 hours and add beans just before serving.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! Leave me feedback or questions if you have any.




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