Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Jalepeno Cheddar Cornbread

I will be honest. I was not looking forward to this recipe for BB this week. The thought of hot corn bread in the middle of the summer just did not appeal to me at. all. Cornbread goes with soup and chili and things that conjur up images of cold, wintery weather. Its hot and muggy here-how can I possibly incorporate cornbread into that equation?
Turns out the cornbread was awesome and I quickly got over my judgements after tasting these little babies. Then again, I think anything that has 2 sticks of melted butter and 2 cups of heavy cream and cheddar cheese in the batter is going to be a winner one way or the other! These were light and super flakey. The jalepeno gives them a great little kick without being too overbearing. Imagine the biscuits at Red Lobster...now ratchet that up about 10 notches. I decided to make these in muffin tins instead of a sheet pan so that 1)I would not eat the whole pan and 2)They could be easily transported and dispersed to those lucky people who might be to taste these!

Jalepeno Cheddar Cornbread (Muffins)
Recipe Courtesy of Ina Garten

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups milk
3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan
8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided
1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish, 3 scallions
3 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers

Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don't overmix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.