Everyone needs a cast iron skillet.

If you don’t have one, go get one. You will thank me later.

I have a few kitchen staples I can’t live without and this is one of them along with my stand mixer and sharp chef’s knife. Some people are intimidated by them, thinking they need additional care but as long as you keep it seasoned with oil, which includes spreading a thin layer of oil over the surface while it is clean and hot and then let cool, you are good to go. Not hard at all and well worth the tiny bit of extra effort.

It is very versatile as it can go from stove top to oven and it can take decades of culinary use. You can use it for searing and cooking meats, baking cakes, breads, pizza and even casseroles or Sheppard’s pie.  The options are endless. The only thing I don’t recommend using it for is highly acidic sauces like tomato sauce as it can react to the metal and give a slightly off taste.

It was a cold a dreary day…sounds like the beginning of a book doesn’t it? It is actually the beginning of what was to be my warm and delicious poblano pepper skillet corn bread. The weather this spring seems to be worse than what the winter delivered us so I was craving something warm and tasty to lift my spirits. I discovered some poblano peppers on sale at a local market and thought I would nab them up as they are not always available here. If you have never tried them you should. They have an amazing flavour and are low on the Scoville scale, which measures the hotness of peppers. To give you an idea, they are about 1,500 on the scale and very hot habaneros are about 250,000. They pack more flavour than heat which makes them pair well with the cornbread.  If you can’t find them, Anaheim or even bell peppers are a good substitute or you can use your favourite pepper.

Poblano Skillet Cornbread

Preheat oven to 425º. Put your cast iron skillet in the preheated oven while you make the bread. This will make a nice crust on your dish. In a mixing bowl mix together and let sit for 10 minutes 1 cup of cornmeal, 1 cup of milk and 1/3 cup of sour cream. After 10 minutes, mix in using a stand mixer or beaters, two eggs and 3 tbsps of melted butter. Slowly mix in but don’t over mix the dry ingredients all combined together, 1 cup of flour, 2 1/2 tsp baking powder, 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tsp of salt.

Once nicely combined, add the kernels of one fresh, not cooked corn on the cob, ½ cup of shredded cheddar and one diced medium poblano pepper. Pour into the preheated skillet being careful using oven mitts as it is very hot. Bake for about 20 minutes until centre is set.

Enjoy with a dollop of butter or hot pepper jelly. It is also nice for breakfast toasted with a bit of salsa and a poached egg and cilantro on top. Enjoy!