los angeles guest suites

 

pom couscous

pom steak

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

by Susan Russo
Print Email

jalapeno_cheddar_cornbread.jpgI love Austin, Texas. The people are warm, the food is amazing, and the weather --  well, let's not talk about the weather. Let's stick with the people and the food. One morning while Jeff and I were eating breakfast at an Austin eatery, we started chatting with a lovely elderly couple next to us. The conversation quickly turned to food: we talked brisket, chili, Shiner bock (which they drink from the bottle), and cornbread. When I told the wife that I had never made corn bread in a skillet, she replied, in a dramatic affected Southern accent, "Well, dahlin', if it ain't made in a cast-iron skillet, then it ain't cornbread."

She shared how her skillet had been in her family for three generations and how she wouldn't dream of making cornbread in a regular metal pan or glass baking dish. I would have loved to share a sentimental tale about my family's cast-iron skillet and corn bread recipe, but the truth is, we don't have one. Sure, my mom made cornbread, but it usually came from a Jiffy box, and I wasn't gonna tell that to the Texan with the third generation cast-iron skillet. 

Although cornbread is a Southern staple, it comes in numerous regional variations across the country. Some of the most memorable ones I've had include a New Mexican cornbread studded with fiery hatch chilies, a New Orleans cornbread laced with Cajun spices and Cheddar cheese, and a North Carolina cornbread made with buttermilk and bacon. My favorite, however, remains the one I ate when I was a kid in New England: dense, sweet cornbread toasted with butter and drizzled with honey.

jalapeno_cheddar_cornbread1.jpgThere aren't too many people who don't love cornbread. It's easy, versatile, and satisfying. It's delicious on its own, dunked in a bowl of hot chili, or used as a mop for excess bbq sauce on your plate. It can be simple and plain or chock full of add-ins such as bacon, corn kernels, and peppers. There's a corn bread to suit just about any taste. 

This was made in a 9 X 9 inch square baking dish, not a cast-iron skillet. Sure, I could go buy one, but to me, that's one of those things that should be passed down in a family. And since my grandmother and mother cared a lot more about making gravy and meatballs than cornbread, skillets didn't feature prominently in our house.

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
Makes 16 pieces

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal, preferably coarsely ground
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 small jalapeno, finely chopped
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1. Place rack in center of oven, and preheat to 425 degrees F. Coat a 9 X 9 inch square baking pan with cooking spray.

2. In a large bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add eggs, milk, and oil. Beat with an electric mixer until just smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in jalapeno, corn, Cheddar, and cilantro.

3. Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

 

Susan Russo is a free lance food writer in San Diego, California. She publishes stories, recipes, and photos on her cooking blog, <Food Blogga and is a regular contributor to NPR’s <Kitchen Window. She is also the author of two upcoming books that will be published in the fall of 2010.   

 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Restaurant News

Michael's Pizzeria
Southern California
by Matt Armendariz

michaelslogo.jpg You might remember we were on a slight squash kick recently. It coincided with a visit to one of my favorite restaurants here in Long Beach, Michael’s Pizzeria. I’ve said a million times that I...

Read more...
Mozza 2Go!
Los Angeles
by Jo Stougaard

mozza2go.jpgSince our very first visit to Pizzeria Mozza (Christmas Eve 2006), Peter and I have continuously wished for two things: That Mozza would offer a Pizza-to-go / Delivery service, and that Nancy...

Read more...
The Stand
Los Angeles
by Lisa Dinsmore

standoutside.jpg Not only were we celebrating our nation’s birthday this past weekend, but the birthdays of two of our closest friends as well, one born on the 4th, one on the 5th. Since nothing says summer like...

Read more...
Russell House Tavern
Boston
by Kitty Kaufman

russell house 5Here's how Dilusha and I decide where to go. She sends a text, "I'm hungry, let's eat," and then I have to find the place. We always get lucky in Cambridge and so we did at Russell House for...

Read more...