Wake and Bake: Spicy Tomato Corn Bread

Wake and Bake

Breakfast snacks for those who get peckish first thing in the morning.


[Photograph: Carrie Vasios]

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Confession: I always prefer sweet things for breakfast with one exception—when I'm hungover. Hungover Carrie wants salt. Hungover Carrie wants spicy. Hungover Carrie will mix soy sauce and sriracha on a spoon and down it straight.

That's kind of how this cornbread came to be. I woke up one morning after one too many bottles of wine and thought, oh, merde, I'm supposed to have people over for dinner tonight. I couldn't think of what to make as my head was crowded with thoughts of egg and cheese sandwiches except the filling was actually heuvos rancheros and oh, maybe I should serve ramen with a side of cold pizza...

Stop. No. Chili, I thought. We'll all win with chili. And cornbread. A side of homemade corn bread, maybe with those late season cherry tomatoes, and cayenne—people put cayenne in their corn bread, don't they? If they don't, they should. I added enough to give it a tongue-tingling kick. This isn't pretend spicy, it's actually spicy, and I think it's delicious that way.

It works because the corn adds a bit of sweetness to counter the heat. The cherry tomatoes cook but don't burst—that happens when they hit the roof of your mouth. It made a great accompaniment to chili but I ate the leftovers plain again the next day when I wasn't even hungover.*

*Kind of.