I scoured the internet for recipes using cornmeal and came across this one from Ina Garten. She used yellow cornmeal and all I had was white cornmeal, but it turned out great regardless! It does call for quite a bit of butter, but the results meant a very moist and tasty bread! So much so that I didn't get any pictures of the final product before it was devoured. Here's the recipe:
Homemade Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread, taken from the Barefoot Contessa
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal (I used white)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups milk
3 extra large eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 pound (2 sticks) of unsalted butter, melted--I told you it has a lot of butter!
1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts (about 3 scallions), plus one more for garnish
1 seeded and minced jalapeno
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese--I used a Mexican cheese blend from Trader Joe's, which was even better!
Two mixing bowls
9 x 13 glass pan--I used a 7 x 11 pan and then poured the additional batter into a 6 muffin tin
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking dish with butter, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, milk, and eggs. Add wet ingredients to dry, mixing just until most of the lumps have dissolved. Add 2 cups of cheddar cheese, scallions and jalapeno, mixing well. Let sit on the counter for twenty minutes to combine.
Pour mixture into greased dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese and scallion. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes (mine took 33 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the dish comes out clean. Cut into big squares and serve warm or at room temperature.
I am not a big fan of spicy food and am notorious for touching my eyes and face after dealing with hot peppers--the first time J met my extended family, I had just touched my eye with jalapeno juice and it looked as if I had a black eye! Therefore, I try to handle the pepper as little as possible when cutting it up. Here's how I do it: First, I cut the pepper in half. Then working with one half at a time, I spear the narrow end with a fork so my hands never actually touch the pepper. The fork acts as a hand to stabilize the pepper while you work. I then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and ribs before cutting the pepper into strips, stopping just before the fork (this way the fork holds the whole half together while you chop it into smaller pieces). Eventually I am able to run my knife through the diced jalapenos and put them in the bowl using the back of my knife, all without actually touching it!
Have you ever made cornbread? Do you have an aversion to peppers like I do? Any tips for not getting hot pepper juices in my eye? I'm all