Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I have never actually been that big a fan of cornbread, but I think that is more based on having had mostly bad cornbread over the years. You know the kind I'm talking about, so dry you can't swallow it without a giant swig of tea or so sweet it's like eating some kind of cornmeal cake. Not appealing.
However, there are some meals that beg for cornbread, case in point, Brunswick stew. Last fall I took all of my leftover meat from BBQ judging and made an enormous and incredibly tasty batch of Brunswick stew, then looked for a cornbread recipe that could stand up to such a bowl of perfection. Enter the Barefoot Contessa. When none of my other cookbooks had recipes that struck quite the note I was looking for, her jalapeno cheddar cornbread sounded like a winner, and it was.
I have made it a few times now, making a few modifications along the way, and I think the one I made last week to go with another thawed batch of Brunswick stew was the epitome of cornbread.
based on Ina Garten's Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
3 c all-purpose flour
1 c cornmeal
1/4 c sugar
2 tbs baking powder
2 tsp kosher salt
2 c buttermilk
3 eggs beaten
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, cooled
8 oz cheddar grated, divided
1/2 c chopped cilantro
2 large jalapenos roasted, chopped finely
1 1/2 c roasted corn
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13x9 glass baking dish with the butter wrappers. Stir together dry ingredients in a large bowl. In separate bowl combine buttermilk, eggs, butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until mostly combined, but don't over mix. Then stir in 2 cups of the cheddar, the cilantro, jalapenos and corn. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake 30-45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. If you cut it straight from the oven it falls apart a bit, so you may want to let it cool a bit. Or not.
My dad likes his with more butter and honey, but I can just eat it piping hot straight from the pan. If you make it, let me know what you think and if you think you have a better recipe, I would love to see it.