Vera Beck’s Cornbread with Cheese and Chiles


Vera Beck resembled one of those African-American matriarchs who, once upon a time, were thought of as saints—a woman in her twilight years whose culinary expressiveness was like a gift she bestowed upon the people she loved. In the few short years we had together at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Vera taught me a few life lessons while showing me the way to light and flaky buttermilk biscuits.

Super easy

Vera Beck’s Cornbread with Cheese and Chiles


For 1 Batch(es)


  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cups shortening
  • 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 15 ounces cream-style corn
  • 4 ounces diced green chiles
  • 1/4 cups chopped green onion
  • 1 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Vera Beck’s Cornbread with Cheese and Chiles Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 375°.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well with a wire whisk.
  3. Melt the shortening in an 8-inch cast-iron skillet. Pour the shortening, buttermilk and beaten egg into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until just moist.
  4. Stir in the corn, chiles and green onion and pour half the batter into the hot skillet. Sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Top with the remaining batter and bake for 40 minutes, or until done.

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