Time is running out on the Mayan Calendar that is due to end, or restart, or something, this Friday. I thought it would be fun to celebrate and count down to the big day with some Mayan inspired recipes. It's been a great conversation starter at the dinner table, that's for sure; our trip to the Yucatan, Mayan traditions and even a few ancient aliens thrown in to keep meal time fun.
I came up with this Mayan Calendar Cornbread Recipe as a fast and easy way to replicate the large tamales we saw in Cancun a few years back. Some of the bakeries sell a yeast bread that is layered with cheese (called Tutis) as a modern version of the giant ceremonial tamales used by the ancient Mayans. The masa for these tamales was made with 13 layers that represent the months of the Mayan calendar. Each layer was filled with cheeses, black beans and other fillings then wrapped in banana leaves to bake.
Really, who has time for that? The calendar is ticking! And, if you are going to eat one last tamale before the end of the world, it should be Mom's Traditional Mexican Tamales. That's why I came up with this fast and easy cornbread. I put 13 sliced jalapenos around the circle to represent the 13 months of the Mayan calendar then, loosely wrapped the entire pan in a few strips of banana leaves making sure to leave enough of the cornbread showing so that the cornbread would brown properly. The banana leaf step is totally optional. You could serve the slices of cornbread on cornhusks instead or skip this step all together.
The cornbread is great with black beans and corn mixed into some pico de gallo, salsa verde, sour cream or your favorite prepared enchilada sauce (aka store bought). Just put the cornbread in the middle of the table, pan and all, and let everyone pile on the toppings as they wish. There's no telling the conversations this cornbread will start.
Here is my recipe for a moist, hearty cornbread. Serve it with all types of Mexican toppings, salsas or sauces and it can become a vegetarian main dish.
To save time, you can also use your favorite cornbread recipe and the ingredients you have in the house.
- 6 long, slender jalapenos
- 1 ½ cups Corn Meal
- 1 ½ cups Flour
- ⅓ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Yogurt (plain)
- ½ cups Cream Style Corn
- 1½ cups Buttermilk
- 3 Eggs
- ⅓ cups Melted Butter
- 1 large banana leaf or fresh corn husks (optional)
- Finely dice 2 of the jalapenos. Slice the other 4 jalapenos into coins that are ½ inch thick. Set aside.
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and whisk to mix well.
- Combine the yogurt, eggs, buttermilk and melted butter together in a separate bowl.
- Make a "well" in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the center of the well. Whisk until well combined.
- Fold in the finely chopped jalapenos.
- Spray the inside of two 8 inch round cake pans or cast iron skillets with cooking spray. Divide the cornbread batter evenly into each pan.
- Place 13 jalapeno "coins" around the top of the cornbread to resemble a clock.
- Wrap several strips of banana leaves around the pans leaving enough of the cornbread showing so that the cornbread browns evenly.
- Bake the cornbread 17 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
- Serve cornbread with Mexican sauces and topping of your choice.
- Garnish with banana leaves or fresh corn husks, if desired.
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—posted by Sandy