Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread

This Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread is so good it’s ridiculous. I’d scribbled the recipe on a scrap of paper years ago while watching Ina Garten make it on TV. Sometimes cornbread can be dry but this one has a little trick that ensures it comes out moist every time.

We were having dinner with friends. Gar made the most amazing ribs in the smoker. Sue baked some cornbread to go with it and said she had tried a new recipe. It was good but we all agreed it was a little dry. Then I remembered a cornbread recipe I saw on a cooking show a bunch of years back. I hadn’t made any in years. So….I pulled the recipe out. I had written it out on a grocery list while I watched the show. My note at the top said “VERY VERY Excellent!!!”

Cornbread is perfect with Smoked Pork Back Ribs! And super easy to make.

jalapeno cheddar cornbread

Start by sifting together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt. I don’t usually tweak a recipe from a professional. They do know what they’re doing. In this case though, I used a little less sugar but only because I prefer cornbread (and scones and tea biscuits) to be less sweet. It’s just a personal taste and nothing to do with the recipe. I used 1 tablespoon instead of 1/4 cup.

In a large mixing bowl melt the butter. It’s a lot of butter! I’m sure that’s why it’s so good. I noticed on the website there was a negative review, saying it was too heavy. Um, well yes, there is half a pound of cheese and half a pound of butter in this. So just be warned. Now mix your eggs and milk together and add a little to the butter. Then add a little more. This is called tempering. If you add cold milk and eggs to hot melted butter all at once you get scrambled eggs. By adding a little at a time it brings the temperature of the butter down to prevent this. Add the rest of the milk and egg mixture to the butter and mix well.

The secret to moist cornbread….

Letting the batter rest.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and stir gently just to combine. It’s ok if there’s a few lumps and dry bits. Now, let it sit for 20 minutes. This allows time for the cornmeal to absorb some liquid so the bread is moist.

jalapeno cheddar cornbread

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Shred the cheese. Mince the scallions (green onions). Chives are a great substitute if you don’t have scallions. Finely mince the jalapeño. You never know how hot a pepper will be until you taste it so add more or less depending on your taste and the hotness.

After 20 minutes add the peppers, cheese and scallions to the batter and combine, being careful not to over mix. Pour into a buttered 9 x 14 pan. Or 2 smaller pans. Save a little cheese for the top. The website version says to add the cheese and pepper mixture to the batter before resting for 20 minutes but my notes said to add it after. I’ve made it both ways and there’s no difference!

Bake on the middle rack for 35-45 minutes if it’s a large pan or 30-35 minutes for 2 smaller pans.

jalapeno cheddar cornbread

Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the centre. If it comes out clean, it’s done!

jalapeno cheddar cornbread

Here’s a link to the recipe:

https://barefootcontessa.com/recipes/jalapeno-cheddar-cornbread

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