The days are definitely getting longer, but the cold is still with us. There's nothing like a good pan of cornbread to combat the chill. Especially when it's made with fresh ground cornmeal that was grown, shelled and ground right here at the farm.
Dad is the official cornbread maker. He doesn't actually measure anything, rarely consults the recipe, and occasionally forgets to include ingredients, but somehow it always comes out great.
Tonight I went a different route from dad's classic, slightly sweet cornbread, and tried out Anna Thomas' Jalapeno and Cheese Cornbread. (Anna Thomas. "The New Vegetarian Epicure" Alfred A. Knopf, 1996.) So, I've heard people say that you should never bring an untried recipe to a potluck, but I'm gonna live dangerously and do it anyway!
Jalapeno and Cheese Cornbread
Cornmeal and flour, jalapeno peppers, cheddar cheese, onions, fresh corn, milk and eggs-this bread is the entire food pyramid in one dish. When you mix it up and bake it, it comes out crunchy, chewy, a little bit spicy, and a little bit sweet-in short, just a great cornbread. The jalapenos, searingly hot when raw, lose a lot of their fire when baked in a batter, so don't be afraid to use them.
- 1 1/3 cups white flour
- 2 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 2tsp salt
- 5 tsp baking
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 cups low-fat milk
- 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 3 eggs
- 4 fresh jalapeno peppers
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 4 oz coarsely grated cheddar cheese
Sift together into a mixing bowl the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder and sugar.
Heat together the milk, corn kernels and butter, until the butter melts. Scoop out some of the corn kernels and set them aside, then process the mixture briefly in a blender, just enough to chop up the corn roughly. Add back the whole corn kernels.
Beat the eggs in a bowl, and beat in the warm milk and corn mixture. Stir the liquid into the dry ingredients. Seed and chop the jalapenos, and stir them into the batter, along with the chopped onion and grated cheese.
Spoon the mixture evenly into a large (9 x 13 inch) buttered baking dish. Bake at 425 degrees for about 35 minutes, or until the bread is puffed up, the top is golden brown, and a thin knife inserted near the middle comes out clean. Serve hot or warm, cut in squares.
Bacon would also be a great addition, though I didn't think of it in time for this batch. Adding scallions or chives would add some nice color to go with the onion flavor too. Next time! Fingers crossed that it goes over well at the potluck.