Hatch Green Chile Cornbread Madeleines
When I was growing up my very Southern grandmother adapted all sorts of traditional Southern recipes to fit the ingredients, cooking styles, and tastes she encountered in El Paso. I can’t tell you how many nights she served collard or mustard greens (cooked with ham hocks of course) with a warm pan of onion and green chile cornbread. What’s funny is back then I only liked straight up cornbread with just a touch of sweetness, so I usually skipped her version. If only I could turn back time and enjoy a square right now. I didn’t know what I was missing.
Several years ago I came across a wonderful recipe for blue corn madelelines. The delicate cornbread bites are lighter than a dense square of cornbread and the fun shape is just a little unexpected. They have earned a permanent place on my Christmas Eve Mexican food menu. For this year’s Hatch chile festivities I decided to try a new twist on this stand-by recipe inspired by my grandmother’s cornbread. I’ve kept the madeleine shape because that’s half of the fun, but this version is stuffed with onions, green chiles, and gooey cheese. It makes these cornbread nibbles a little denser than the original recipe but because they are two bites, you hardly notice at all.
I’ve been making these madeleines for at least five or six years and found the recipe back when I still clipped and copied recipes from magazines instead of just saving them right into my online notebook. I’ve been working from a hand-written version of the recipe, without date or attribution of course, and while some quality time with Google seems to indicate that this is a Bon Appetit recipe, I can’t find it anywhere on their actual site to verify. Long story short, this is my adaptation of a fantastic recipe and I humbly thank whomever originally created it because it’s a sining gem in my collection.
I have wonderful silicon baking molds that I use to bake these madeleines. I can’t recommend them enough. The cornbread cakes pop right out of the molds leaving the beautiful detailing intact.
Hatch Green Chile Cornbread Madeleines
These pretty bites combine Southwestern-inspired flavors with a petite French form for a fun take on cornbread.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Number of servings: 24-30
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time: 32 minutes
- Meal type: Bread
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1/4 c. diced yellow onion
- 1 c. cornmeal (yellow or blue, your choice)
- 1 c. AP flour
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 c. whole milk
- 4 Tbsp. honey
- 5 Tbsp. melted butter, cooled
- 1/2 c. chopped Hatch green chiles
- 1/2 c. grated Monterey Jack Cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray large madeleine molds with non-stick spray.
- Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Sautee the onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- In a separate bowl beat the egg until well blended then stir in the milk, honey, and butter.
- Whisk the liquids into the dry ingredients and stir until well combined (but don’t over mix of course).
- Fold the onion, green chiles, and cheese into the batter with a spatula.
- Spoon about 1 Tbsp. of the batter into each madeleine mold and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the madeleines spring back when you press them lightly (no need to poke a hole in them now).
- Repeat with remaining batter and molds. Pop the molds into freezer for about 5 minutes between batches to cool them.
- Serve the madeleines warm with a bit more butter.
Recipe for Success
- Be sure to use whole milk for this recipe. I’ve tried it with skim and the madeleines are much drier.
- I think these are prettier with yellow corn meal because the green chiles contrast with it nicely, but pick your favorite cornmeal: blue or yellow.
- You can make these up to a day ahead, store them in an air-tight container, and serve them at room temperature.
- I prefer to serve the madeleines warm but always do my best to avoid last-minute preparations. To get a head start I mix up the dry and wet ingredients but keep them separate, sauté the onions, and prep the chiles and cheese. Just before its time to bake I mix the dry and wet ingredients, fold in the remaining ingredients, and pop filled molds into the oven.
- You can omit the cheese from these or experiment with other cheeses. A nice manchego would work or even a cheddar.
- If you’re not a fan of onions you can leave them out and even add a bit more green chile in their place.
- If you don’t have madeleine molds you can make these in mini muffin tins. You can also use smaller madeleine pans and 1 tsp. of batter for a whole bushel of mini madeleines.