Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

Last week my office had a chili cook-off. I was excited to participate, but the thought of transporting a large quantity of chili from my kitchen to my workplace did not appeal to me. (That sounds like a messy disaster on the Metro in the making.) Plus I’m a baking girl, so the obvious solution was cornbread. But not just any cornbread – if I’m going to do it I’m going to do it up

I love sweet things for dessert, but I have one food quirk: I do not like my real food to be sweet. Honey cornbread is delicious, but honey cornbread mixed with chili is just not my jam. Therefore, this Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread hit the spot. 

The nice thing about jalapeños is that they’re very flavorful but not too hot. You could use hotter chilis if you want, or just add more jalapeños to kick it up. I tried to balance my own spicy-food-love with consideration for my perhaps less adventurous coworkers. This loaf of cornbread goodness is slightly spicy, very cheesy, and goes amazingly with any chili you deem fit to pile on top of it. 

It also transports well, and stays fresh-tasting for a few days, making it the perfect office potluck contribution! You can serve it with chili, or plain as a side, or with any kind of soup, or for breakfast (YES! I'll post that recipe soon I promise).

Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread
Makes 1 9x13-inch pan, which could be 16 LARGE servings, but cut small can make 20-30 pieces of cornbread.
  • 2 ½  cup cornmeal (not stone-ground)
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 8 ounces extra (or extra-extra sharp) cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 large jalapeños, chopped (If you prefer more flavor and less heat, remove the seeds)
  • 1 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Generously grease a 9x13-inch pan.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  4. In another medium bowl, whisk together the milk, buttermilk, eggs, and melted butter.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, whisking until just combined. Do not over-mix.
  6. Gently fold in about ¾ of the grated cheddar cheese and all the jalapeños, mixing until combined.
  7. Pour into pan and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
  8. Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.

Cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing. 

Go here for the printable recipe.