Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

I fooled around with cornbread for many years and I never could get it just right. It was either too dry, too wet, lacking flavor, blah, blah, blah.

On the day I was over it, I made a 9-1-1 call to my cousin, Loretta, to ask for some much needed help. Loretta "don't make no bad food" - never, ever. She can do it all.

She kindly wrote out her recipe for me because, hmmm, those who really know how to cook "real food" normally don't need their own recipes written out. It just magically works for them every time.

I am not one of those. Not only do I need to have it written out, I need to practice getting it just right.

Also, when a great cook writes out a recipe it is never precise. It is like, add "about this much of this" and "a little bit of that." I had to work through that in my head to get it down to my level.

Surprisingly, my first go at the cornbread was a great success. Because of all the help Loretta gave me, I got it right and I kept getting it right. I just love her!

That is until the day that I accidentally added double the amount of butter. The husbster swears it was great and he ate almost the entire thing. He is one of those you love to hate because he can eat as much butter as he likes but doesn't have to wear it. Me, on the other hand, well, let's just not go there.

I will say this, you can never have too much butter. So if you do mistakenly add too much like I did, it will still be very tasty.

Enough of this crazy talk. Let's make some really good jalapeno/cheddar cornbread!

Preheat oven 400

Number of servings: I don't have a clue. It depends on who is cutting it and who is eating it. You can cut big slices or small slices.

1/2 Stick real butter, of course
1 Cup self-rising corn meal, I use yellow because I think it's pretty
1/4 Cup self-rising flour
1 Egg
1-3/4 Cups buttermilk, low fat is what I use
1/2 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 Garden fresh jalapeno peppers, chopped into small cubes
2 Garden fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced

This is the 10" skillet with 1 stick of butter using as an example

Place the butter into a 7-1/2" round cast iron kettle and preheat it in the oven and allow the butter to melt. Loretta's recipe wasn't really clear "to me" as to where to put the melted butter so I made an executive decision to put it in the kettle and melt it with the preheat. Maybe I was supposed to mix it in with the batter but I never have.

Chop up 3 jalapeno peppers and set aside.

Slice 2 jalapeno peppers approx. 1/4"+ wide and set aside.

Place the cornmeal and flour in a bowl and whisk until combined.

Add the egg, buttermilk, chopped jalapeños and cheese and mix just until everything is incorporated. Do not over mix!

Loretta said, "The batter should be thin but not soupy and not like biscuit dough." Don't asked me what this really means because I really don't know. Just wing it on this one. I did.

Take a pot holder and remove the cast iron kettle from the oven and place on a level surface. Be  careful because cast iron gets really hot. Yes, one time I forgot the potholder. It wasn't pretty but let me assure you, I have never forgotten the potholder again.

Pour the batter directly into the center of the melted butter in the kettle. It will begin cooking immediately. Place it back into the oven.

About 20 minutes into baking and when it is somewhat "set," I gently open the oven and place the sliced jalapeños on top for garnish. If you place them on top of the batter before it is set, they sink to the bottom, baby! Does not work at all!

I normally bake mine 30-33 minutes and I test it with a cake tester.
Once the cake tester comes out clean, I turn the broiler on high for 5-6 minutes until it is golden brown.

Oven times may vary. I rarely go by oven times, rather I bake until it is done.

I cool it in the kettle on a cooling rack for about 20+ minutes before I flip it out. And to be honest, I have always had a tiny bit that sticks to the bottom of the kettle or skillet - uuuuggg. I scrape it off the bottom and place it back on the cornbread bottom. Flip it over onto a serving platter.

You can also double this recipe if you want a big honkin' slab of cornbread like this one.

I used a 10" cast iron skillet for this big boy.  Serving size you ask? More than the one in the kettle.

Here's the inside scoop on the jalapeño cheddar. YUM.

So what if you don't have a 7-1/2" cast iron kettle? I don't know. We may have to ask Loretta that one. I have only made the cornbread in cast iron. Just remember, I didn't learn to cook "real food" until I was 42.

So there you have it. Garden fresh jalapeño cheddar cornbread!

BIG thanks to Loretta for helping learn to make this awesome cornbread and allowing me to share the  recipe with you. It has been enjoyed by many.

Thanks for stopping by today!

BIG love to you,

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Donna's Savory Tomato Pie

Jalapeños on the Half Shell

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