Tuesday, October 20
A Recipe for Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread. What's Your Favorite Cornbread Recipe?
I love Austin, Texas. The people are warm, the food is amazing, and the weather -- well, let's not talk about the weather. Let's stick with the people and the food. One morning while Jeff and I were eating breakfast at an Austin eatery, we started chatting with a lovely elderly couple next to us. The conversation quickly turned to food: we talked brisket, chili, Shiner bock (which they drink from the bottle), and cornbread. When I told the wife that I had never made corn bread in a skillet, she replied, in a dramatic affected Southern accent, "Well, dahlin', if it ain't made in a cast-iron skillet, then it ain't cornbread."
She shared how her skillet had been in her family for three generations and how she wouldn't dream of making cornbread in a regular metal pan or glass baking dish. I would have loved to share a sentimental tale about my family's cast-iron skillet and corn bread recipe, but the truth is, we don't have one. Sure, my mom made cornbread, but it usually came from a Jiffy box, and I wasn't gonna tell that to the Texan with the third generation cast-iron skillet.
Although cornbread is a Southern staple, it comes in numerous regional variations across the country. Some of the most memorable ones I've had include a New Mexican cornbread studded with fiery hatch chilies, a New Orleans cornbread laced with Cajun spices and Cheddar cheese, and a North Carolina cornbread made with buttermilk and bacon. My favorite, however, remains the one I ate when I was a kid in New England: dense, sweet cornbread toasted with butter and drizzled with honey.
There aren't too many people who don't love cornbread. It's easy, versatile, and satisfying. It's delicious on its own, dunked in a bowl of hot chili, or used as a mop for excess bbq sauce on your plate. It can be simple and plain or chock full of add-ins such as bacon, corn kernels, and peppers. There's a corn bread to suit just about any taste.
Since chilly weather is upon us, it's time for a substantial cornbread that pairs well with hearty chilis and stews, like my jalapeno cheddar cornbread. It's punctuated with crisp corn kernels, hot jalapenos, and creamy sharp Cheddar cheese. It was made in a 9 X 9 inch square baking dish, not a cast-iron skillet. Sure, I could go buy one, but to me, that's one of those things that should be passed down in a family. And since my grandmother and mother cared a lot more about making gravy and meatballs than cornbread, skillets didn't feature prominently in our house.
So, tell me, what's your favorite cornbread recipe?
Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
Makes 16 pieces
Print recipe only here.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably coarsely ground
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 small jalapeno, finely chopped
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1. Place rack in center of oven, and preheat to 425 degrees F. Coat a 9 X 9 inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, milk, and oil. Beat with an electric mixer until just smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in jalapeno, corn, Cheddar, and cilantro.
3. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
You might also like these recipes from Food Blogga:
Mom's Zucchini Bread (with pineapple and coconut!)
Sweet Corn and Honey Muffins
Persimmon and Date Bread
Here are more cornbread recipes I'd like to make:
Cornbread recipe at Homesick Texan
Bacon Cornbread recipe at House of Annie
Chipotle Cornbread recipe at Baking Bites
Cranberry Cornbread recipe at Closet Cooking
Tri-Colored Cornbread recipe at Mango and Tomato